LOVE Gorgie Farm calls for volunteers to deliver free breakfasts and food bank donations as it temporarily closes

LOVE Gorgie Farm calls for volunteers to deliver free breakfasts and food bank donations as it temporarily closes

LOVE Gorgie Farm has decided to close its doors to the public until further notice to ensure the safety of visitors, staff and the animals.

Edinburgh’s beloved urban farm will, however, operate as a food bank and deliver free breakfast for children amid school closures. The farm is making a call for volunteers to help with the deliveries and urging people for food supplies to stock its foodbank and to be able to cater to as many kids as possible.

This decision comes after the announcement from the UK and Scottish Governments to close all leisure spaces such as restaurants and bars during a time when schools will be closed too.

Education and social care charity LOVE Learning, who recently took ownership of former Gorgie City Farm, aims to support those children in the community, especially those from deprived areas, by ensuring that they can start the day well fed. The urban farm is also providing a takeaway menu from their recently opened café.

LOVE Gorgie Farm reopened last month after the site had gone into liquidation in November 2019. Earlier last week, LOVE Learning announced it would launch new services on the farm and it had plans to inaugurate the farm café tomorrow (Monday 23rd March).

Whilst the farm will be closed to the public, the LOVE Gorgie Farm team will still be working behind closed doors to maintain the site and take care of the animals until the situation goes back to normality.

In order to ensure that the farm can reopen as soon as it is secure for the public and the team, LOVE Gorgie Farm is also encouraging those wanting to help the beloved urban farm during this delicate period to support them with donations and supplies.

Two pages have been set up – an Amazon shopping list and a Go Fund Me page – for those wanting to help the farm stay afloat remotely.

Lynn Bell, CEO of LOVE Learning said:

“Following the advice from the Scottish Government regarding the evolution of the coronavirus outbreak, we have sadly decided to temporarily close LOVE Gorgie Farm.

“However, we will be delivering free breakfast every morning so the children in the community can enjoy at least a meal a day now that schools are closed and we will also maintain our foodbank to ensure that vulnerable people can have access to food.

“We are saddened to have to take this decision as the farm had only reopened to the public a few weeks ago and we were going to start providing new services and opening the café. However, the safety of our staff, visitors and animals is and will always be our first and foremost priority.

“The fact that we are closed to the public does not mean that the farm is not operational. Our dedicated team will still need to work hard to maintain the farm and take care of our animals so that we can reopen once we go back to normality. And we need help and supplies to support their work.

“We cannot stress enough how vital the help from the community will prove to work through this crisis. We need volunteers to help us deliver the breakfasts and meals from the café. Donations for our food bank will be paramount for those families who cannot afford it, and although we understand that we are living through a critical moment, any small donations will make a big difference.

“We also understand that there will be people wanting to help us from the safety of their home and as such, we have set up an Amazon shopping list and a Go Fund Me page so anyone who wishes to make a contribution, no matter how little, can help us and provide supplies to keep the farm going.

“We are incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support that we have received to get LOVE Gorgie Farm going. The generosity of the community has surpassed all our expectations thus far and we are sure that their invaluable help will continue to amaze us as we work through this critical moment.”

Those wanting to place orders or volunteer should not hesitate to contact LOVE Gorgie Farm through gorgie@l-o-v-e.org.uk or call 0131 337 4202.

Those wanting to provide the farm with supplies should find the wish-list here and the Go Fund Me page here.

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About LOVE Gorgie Farm

LOVE Gorgie Farm, on the site of the former Gorgie City Farm, is located in the heart of Edinburgh.

This urban farm is operated by education and social care charity, LOVE Learning, following its takeover of the site in 2020. The charity seeks to improve the education and life chances of vulnerable children, young people and adults.

LOVE Gorgie Farm is an important resource which will support these aims. It will remain open seven days a week and will be free for visitors, providing a range of exciting education, environmental and social care programmes.

Its education centre provides education services to children and young people, including animal and forest therapy, and it engages with local communities on environmental programmes around farming and food production.

LOVE Gorgie Farm also has a food bank and social enterprise café, which helps it to engage further with the community. It also provides a range of professional apprenticeships and Scottish Qualifications Authority accredited programmes within its newly established skills academy.

In the future, LOVE Gorgie Farm will also provide social prescribing and wellbeing therapies in partnership with the NHS, mental health and holistic therapies, and employability projects.

For further information, please go to www.gorgiecityfarm.org.uk/

About LOVE Learning

LOVE Learning is a social care and education charity that supports vulnerable individuals, using innovative ways to engage them in learning.

Bridging the gap between education and social care, its defining mission is to improve the education and life chances of children, young people and adults, as well as their families. Services are predominantly provided to those who have missed out on education for a variety of reasons and it has a specific focus on those with additional support needs.

LOVE Learning seeks to raise the level of attainment of these individuals through an integrated approach, bridging the gap between education and social care. This serves to address not only their learning needs, but their health and well-being. It also offers 24-hour crisis support services.

For further information, please go to https://l-o-v-e.org.uk/

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