£200,000 lottery windfall for Bath City Farm
An environmental project in Bath has won more than £200,000 of lottery funding to dramatically expand its work.
The £234,000 Big Lottery Fund grant will secure the future of Bath City Farm at Whiteway for the next three years.
The money from the fund’s Reaching Communities programme will enable it to expand its work with volunteers, particularly people with mental health problems or learning difficulties.
Slots will now be offered at weekends, while the community farm will also be offering accredited courses in food growing, animal care and conservation as well as one-day and family workshops.
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The aim is to get people ready for the world of work and to develop confidence.
Farm manager Matt Smail said: “This is a massive achievement for the farm, particularly in a time of cutbacks for the charity sector.
“Volunteers and staff have worked so hard over the last few years to make Bath City Farm what it is today – a fantastic and thriving place for all of Bath to enjoy.
“This money means we will be able to offer volunteering and training opportunities to a wide range of local people including those who may have support needs. The benefits of outdoor practical work on mental and physical health cannot be underestimated - Bath City Farm is a great place to come and learn new skills and make new friends.”
The farm is one of six projects in the south west sharing £1.2 million from the fund programme.
Mark Cotton, the fund’s head of region for the South West, said: “Having good mental health is vital for living a happy and fulfilled life, yet one in four of us will experience mental illness at some stage. I am very pleased that a number of today’s projects are addressing this issue and working to help people move forwards from their difficulties.”