We have received another donation! Sarah Saville, one of the lovely mums that brings her daughter to our Holiday Activities, recently got in touch to say that she’d like to make a donation to the farm.
This fantastic Digital Food Dehydrator (as modelled here by Glinda, our crested gecko) is a great addition to the farm as it means we can now dry any leftover fruit and vegetables.
We are so grateful to receive gifts like these. When asked why she wanted to donate, Sarah said “since hearing about Oasis Down to Earth Farm via Facebook, I have been bringing my daughter Eve to their brilliant school holiday activity sessions for the last three years. We have made some brilliant memories! Eve has been licked by a Skink, held Bearded Dragons, Snails and Guinea pigs, baked her own scones and pizzas and completed craft and woodwork projects. The staff and volunteers are superb and to say thank you I have donated this dehydrator from their Amazon wish list. I would encourage anyone who enjoys and wants to support the farm to make a donation, however small, so that more families can continue to enjoy this wonderful community resource.”
Sarah, from everyone at the farm, thank you so much for your kindness and generosity!
Remember Steve Wurst, our friend of the farm that donated £500? Well today we received a whole batch of Amazon goodies from him off of our Amazon wish list - it's like Christmas has come early!
Our small animal manager squealed with delighted when she saw all of the items that her critters can enjoy, along with some new paintbrushes to be used in the summer craft activities.
At the farm we have to ensure the safety and well-being of our animals, so having an Amazon wish list with 'farm approved' items is a great way for people to get involved and donate items that will be put to good use. Thank you again Steve!
We are overwhelmed with gratitude as one of our friends of the farm, Steve Wurst, has just donated £500 to the farm. FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS! This extraordinarily generous gesture will help go towards buying decent wood for our two projects on the horizon, Guinea Pig Gardens and The Burrow (for our rabbits). From every person and animal at the farm, thank you Steve!
Back in March our wonderful Corporate Relationships Manager Diana Nell got in touch with the construction company Interserve to see whether they’d be interested in volunteering at the farm.
Site Agent Anthony Diment responded enthusiastically, and a few months later he and a team of 10 volunteers were at the farm by the crack of dawn, ready to get to work. Anthony soon whipped everyone in to shape! The team was split in to 3 groups: one to begin replacing the fire exit door in our Small Animal room (that had sadly seen better days), one to begin sanding and painting the entrance doors to our Tech Block and a larger team to help build a new section of large raised vegetable beds in the garden.
The day began with a crane lifting the digger over the (slightly too narrow) gate, followed by discussions about the plan layout, and then all teams dispersed to begin their jobs before the heavy rain set in. And set in it did! But the team were incredibly dedicated and hardworking, and despite the rain they all managed to make huge improvements to the farm.
A massive thank you to the Interserve team which included Anthony Diment, Andy Lucas, Stacey Kinch, Terry Odeon, Michael Frain, Jim Hiscox, Sam Hunter, Abi Cave, Marie Calvert and Rob Uwejoma. You guys are fantastic!
Recently the BBC filmed The Instant Gardener at the farm and our episode will air on Wednesday 8th June at 3:45pm on BBC1. The 15 part series begins daily on Monday 30th May. Make sure you're watching to see farm staff and volunteers work alongside the BBC team to transform an area of the garden. Trust me, it's going to be entertaining!
I recently got in contact with Dulux Decorator Centre in City Industrial Park on Southern Road to see what they do with their damaged paint goods, to see if they could be donated to the farm. As a community centre and charity, the farm welcomes many people through its doors so it's understandable that the hand washing area had seen better days, so it was decided that a project was needed to give it a new lease of life.
Store Manager Roxanna Sanaee welcomed the idea and immediately put aside 5 litres of paint to be donated. Roxanna was so intrigued by the project that she and her team, colleagues Nick Edwards and Mike McGrath, popped down to Lordshill to hear more about the activities held at the farm and to see how they could get involved. “It was such a lovely project being done for the community; each year we try to do some voluntary work for a worthwhile cause and this really appealed to us” said Roxanna. “When we met Giverny and saw how enthusiastic she was about the farm and how it is such an important space for the local community to go to, we were hooked. To have a farm on your doorstep that lets you fully interact with the animals, but also educates people on the environment and how to be creative with materials found in nature – it’s a pretty special place. We also appreciate that it helps many people, not just one set user group, meaning a small makeover will actually benefit hundreds of people over time.”
I then had the challenge of seeking a tiler to tile the hand washing area first. After a shout out on the farm’s Facebook page, a lovely family got in touch to say that Shane Kingston, a local tiler (and Father to an Autistic boy who has found a real safe space at the farm) would happily help refurbish the area for the farm. “My son Theo adores this place, so it feels good to be able to give something back.”
The bathroom refurbishment has made a significant improvement to the farm. Health and Safety is paramount for us, especially when handling animals, and to have a fresh and clean area completely free of charge thanks to the kindness and support of local residents and businesses within the community is fantastic. We are all so grateful to Shane and the Dulux team – we couldn’t have done it without them!
- Giverny Bendall
Who we are:
Oasis Down to Earth Farm is a community centre with a difference: we are based on a farm in urban Southampton. As a not-for-profit charity, our mission is to provide a socially inclusive, happy experience where people of all abilities and differences are respected and valued. We aim to educate, empower and engage with our local community.