Farms for City Children is delighted to share with you our Impact Report for the year 2022-2023.

What a terrific year it was for the charity as we welcomed more beneficiaries than ever before, following our commitment to a new growth strategy that sees the charity operational all year round.

Despite financial challenges across the entire third sector, Farms for City Children was busier than ever as groups of children and young people sought out an immersive residential week of muck and magic on one of our three stunning heritage farms in Devon, Gloucestershire, and Pembrokeshire.

In term time with their school teachers, primary and secondary aged children enjoyed a week of nature connected wellbeing activities combined with purposeful farm tasks working with livestock and the land to build essential and transferable life skills. Out of term time, we welcomed community youth groups, young carers, looked after children and young people, military families, and Duke of Edinburgh GOLD award students to name just a few of the varied beneficiaries aged 8-19 who were able to enjoy the offer now that we deliver 40 weeks of bookings at each farm.

Feedback continues to show the impact of the week on those who visit, children and adults alike, and our post visit survey shows that the effects of the week live on long after the return to home and school. Better relationships between peers and teachers, reduced sanctions and exclusions, higher levels of engagement in school, and improved academic attainment are just some of the benefits that children and young people enjoy as a direct result of their residential. A MRes year-long study on the varied impact of the offer on beneficiaries was published by Harper Adams University, and it details the personal, social, mental health and wellbeing benefits of sending a child to the charity for a week on the farm. We are very proud to share this research now with the world.

Looking ahead to the period of 2023-24, we are excited by pilot projects in identified areas of extreme deprivation beyond our core geographic city areas of London, Birmingham, Manchester. This is taking the charity into rural and coastal areas where children are navigating their childhood in poverty and reduced opportunities. Our partnership work continues to flourish and we are all hoping for positive outcomes as we start to work more frequently at post-16 with FE Colleges, providing the physical work experience needed to accredit young learners with qualifications that enable them to seek out a career in agriculture, animal care, land management, environmental studies, horticulture, and hospitality.

Our 50th anniversary year is approaching and we are planning a variety of events to mark this milestone, and to celebrate the part we have played in making powerful memories for over 100,000 children and young people since 1976. Please do look out for invites and details of an event at the Butchers’ Hall in June 2024, and we hope that we will see you there.

For now, please enjoy reading about our last 12 months as a year in numbers, the news directly from the farms, and some feedback from the children and their teachers.