Farms for City Children is delighted to announce the appointment of Donna Edmonds to the position of Interim Chief Executive.

Twenty-two years ago, just six weeks into her teaching career, Donna Edmonds first visited Nethercott House Farm for City Children, accompanying a group of 36 young people from an inner London secondary school as they experienced a week of muck and magic. Much like the children she brought to Devon, Donna, growing up on a notorious South London council estate, had never been in the countryside, had zero experience of livestock and had never seen a night sky with stars in it. She was enthralled, and so began a 22-year love affair with the charity that resulted in her bringing many more children to partake in the unique offer of Farms for City Children. Donna’s deep and sincere affection for the charity has led her to fundraise and advocate for the charity for more than two decades.

Having devoted her career to working with the most vulnerable and challenging learners and the most disadvantaged young people in maintained, independent, specialist, PRUs and AP schools across the capital, Donna has held every middle and senior leadership role in both primary and secondary education and has been a Lead Teacher for Bromley LEA, a Lead Coach for Sutton LEA, an AST for London Challenge (Advanced Skills Teacher), a FCCT (Fellow of Chartered College of Teachers) and FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts). Donna left her role as a Headteacher of an ASC Specialist School to move into the charity sector in 2021 looking for a way to transfer her skills to the third sector.

Donna Edmonds said “It is a huge privilege to join the dedicated and passionate teams of staff, volunteers and supporters at Farms for City Children. The work of the charity may never be as relevant and as desperately needed as it is in 2022. The blended offer of outdoor learning and connection with the environment, celebration of farming as a key industry in the UK and the compelling wellbeing agenda that activities provide can be an essential antidote to the trauma experienced in the last two years of educational disruption, prolonged lockdowns and social isolation and I look forward to developing this offer to our beneficiaries over the coming months”

Simon Gregory, Chair of Trustees commenting on the appointment said “I and fellow Trustees are delighted that Donna has accepted an interim role with FFCC as our CEO, leading and supporting colleagues across the farms, and in the core team, to drive forward our strategy. As we emerge confidently from the pandemic, we will continue with our mission to provide compelling and inspirational outdoor learning experiences for even more young people”.