Elderflower Fields Family Festival, Review – Can it go …

Disclosure – family ticket provided for purpose of review, …

View Post

Review – Portsmouth Caen Ferry with Brittany Ferries

AD – hosted ferry trip provided for review purposes, …

View Post
Sitting on the lawn in the sunshine at Gites de la Richarderie

Super relaxing French family holiday in the Loire …

Hosted trip – accommodation provided by Gites de la …

View Post

Top Tips: Puy Du Fou, the French theme …

Hosted trip – we were provided with flights, accommodation, …

View Post

Llandudno to Conwy. Walking the Wales Coastal Path.

Castles, coastal paths, dunes, beach cafes, sweeping bays, …

View Post

Family Travel Guide: Swansea Bay, Gower and Mumbles, …

Hiraeth. (n.) a homesickness for a home to …

View Post

Coastal Adventures: Exploring the Stunning Yorkshire Coast

Would I like to share my favourite parts …

View Post

The Malverns: A Dog and Family Friendly Weekend …

From our ivy-framed hotel bay window Narnia style …

View Post

My local Comic Relief project – Stonebridge City Farm, Nottingham

There are lots of projects in Nottingham which have received Comic Relief funding, choosing was tough, and in the end I was glad when it came down to project availability on the day we could visit. Mr G and I were invited to look round Stonebridge City Farm, as a project partly funded by Comic Relief. Everyone in the UK is no more than 30 miles from a Comic Relief funded project.

We have visited Stonebridge Farm before, but today was very different, we learnt all about what goes on behind the scenes of this incredible community project.

The farm is in the St Anns area of Nottingham, an area which scores highly on government measures of deprivation. St Anns was an area of slum clearance in the 1960s, in fact the farm slowly developed by the community on land that was set aside during this time for a primary school which was never needed.

A scarecrow joins a tower block on the Nottingham skyline

I was surprised to discover how much happens at Stonebridge and the differences it makes to people’s lives. Stonebridge gives so many people a sense of home, place and community.

hello piggy

Stonebridge helps people who have been excluded, from school, the workplace, from family life. Like the single dad who brings his kids in for somewhere affordable and homely to be when he has them for the weekend. Or George, who has been homeless and has learning difficulties and has travelled from Derby for many years, every day, to volunteer, Stonebridge gives him a sense of purpose and a community.

It was a pleasure to meet Aaron who volunteers at Stonebridge as part of an alternative education plan for students excluded from mainstream education. He didn’t want to talk about school, but he gave us a warm welcome on reception, was really keen to tell us about the farm and was wonderful with Mr G.

Aaron couldn’t wait to show us the one week old guinea pigs in the barn. An amazing sight. He has really flourished working alongside adults and supporting younger visitors. Apparently he also bakes the best chocolate cookies.

A one week old guinea pig, Stonebridge sells pets and offers a pet hotel when owners are on holiday.

The sheep on the farm are expecting, It must be amazing to come and visit as spring comes along and fills the city with new life.

Sheep in the city

One of the projects goals is to protect the environment, there are workshops in all kinds of gardening and bee keeping. Local residents come to buy plants, swap seeds and pick up growing tips. The plants are a real bargain.

There is so much going on for gardeners and farm visitors

Stonebridge relies on grants, such as the one from Comic Relief, and donations for 60% of it’s income. With the addition of an amazing cafe, events and a shop, 40% of its income is self generated. Feeding animals and managing a farm and education centre doesn’t come cheap. Managing so many individuals requires full time and experienced staff, skilled in planning for the emotional and practical needs of volunteers and visitors. It’s challenging work, yet Stonebridge keeps winning awards.

Stonebridge cannot charge under it’s council lease,nor would it want to, but donations and grants help the farm to keep going.

There’s lots to do for families, when I’ve taken my children it’s always lovely how keen staff and volunteers are to talk to children or take time out to help them pursue an interest, last time it was helping Miss L pond dip and Mr G befriend Billy the pony. This interaction gives volunteers confidence and visitors a chance to interact meaningfully with adults with learning difficulties, and to see their ability to make a really positive contribution to the community.

Some of the staff and volunteers gather outside, with Mr G

I couldn’t leave without eating because the food really is something very special. I had a spicy bean burrito and Mr G wolfed veggie sausage, mash and beans. As much food as possible is from the farm or locally sourced. Really impressed by the vegetarian selection and the value for money. Our meals and a drink came to £6.

Mr G’s photography skills are coming on nicely, we couldn’t resist lunch in the cafe afterwards. The food is amazing, my burrito was yummy, Mr G wolfed his bangers and mash

Stonebridge is a really special place, next time you are thinking about a farm visit I would definitely recommend it over a commercially run farm. You’ll be getting a far richer experience and giving something back to the Nottingham community. And being outdoors as the mental health posters around the farm remind you, makes you feel so much better.

You can find out where your local Comic Relief funded project is here.


Miss L and Mr G are going to #dancetheiryearsfollow this weekend and I will be joining Team Honk, a merry band of bloggers and friends, to dance at Wembley Arena for 6 hours.


Mr G

Miss L


 the whole of Team Honk



  1. 14/03/2013 / 7:43 am

    Looks like an amazing place! Will have to visit one day! x

  2. 14/03/2013 / 11:04 am

    Wow that looks like a great project and so important for the local community to have.
    That photo with the sheep and the high rise behind is just wonderful – now did you smuggle me our a guinea pig?

  3. 14/03/2013 / 3:21 pm

    what a fab place – I love little community run hubs. And what a bargain the food was! 🙂

  4. Thinly Spread
    15/03/2013 / 9:48 am

    What a fabulous project, I really love this! City Farms are so essential to the well being of so many people, it is money so well spent!

  5. Emily
    20/03/2013 / 11:19 am

    Fabulous sounding project and great pics too (love the guinea pig)! Animals have an amazing ability to provide people with comfort so imagine a project like this does good in a multitude of ways.

  6. Pingback: essayhelpbgs.com
  7. Pingback: writing phd thesis
  8. Pingback: cheap cialis
  9. Pingback: cialis pills
  10. Pingback: cialis vs viagra
  11. Pingback: pharmacies online
  12. Pingback: viagra

I'd love to know your thoughts!