Freightliners Impact Report

published by Freightliners City Farm

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Rocket Science carried out the impact assessment of Freightliners City Farm and produced this infographic report
Freightliners in numbers
family play and learning drop-ins
young farmers
supported family camps
participants with disability or health issues
older people's sessions
Figures for 2016
visits by children with their nursery, school or group
6 weeks
of young people's sessions
volunteers hours
As a result of volunteering at the farm...
of volunteers feel useful and contribute to the community
of volunteers feel less worried and anxious
of volunteers feel more confident about themselves
of volunteers have developed their career
of volunteers have gained skills that will help them to get a job
of volunteers feel physically fitter
Volunteers' experiences
“I've been job hunting for a while which can get you down but I know that I am respected as someone helpful and competent at Freightliners."  
“My time at Freightliners spurred me into taking an animal focused education and career.”
Jennifer first started volunteering at Freightliners City Farm several years ago. Although Jennifer has always had a love for animals and has many pets at home, her experience at the farm has developed her skills and confidence to deal with larger animals. Volunteering at the farm has also given her the chance to understand the day-to-day operations of a city farm. Becoming a volunteer at the farm helped Jennifer to realise that the difficult or dirty tasks cannot be ignored. She developed a real sense of responsibility on the farm. Volunteering at the farm has also had a direct impact on her studies. Although Jennifer has always wanted to be a vet, her dedication to the profession was shaken by getting straight rejections. Despite this Jennifer continued to volunteer at Freightliners City Farm on the weekends: “It [volunteering at the farm] reinforced my ambition to become a vet… When I got rejected it wasn’t a nice thing for me to hear but I still came here every week. It helped me get through it. I did get an offer from another course that year but it made me know that I wanted to try again rather than give up on it.” Jennifer’s perseverance and dedication paid off. She applied to study Veterinary Medicine the following year and received multiple offers. Being able to talk about her experience of volunteering at Freightliners was a huge help to Jennifer during interviews as her interviewers were not familiar with city farms.
Jennifer's Story
Young people's experiences
Lily used to visit the farm as a child with her parents. She started coming to the farm more regularly when she was 11 years old. She found the transition from primary to secondary school incredibly challenging and came to the farm as a form of respite from mainstream education: “I loved it here... I was much more comfortable here than in school.” Although Lily was still formally in mainstream education, she learnt basic skills, cooking and animal care at the farm. Lily found the farm more conducive to learning than school. This was largely due to the staff members who Lily describes as “incredibly supportive and caring”. Lily suggests that the teaching was “much more open” than in schools, and it felt less like you were being lectured. The support that the farm gave Lily didn’t end when she stopped coming every week at the age of 17. The staff continued to mentor Lily, providing her with advice and guidance about future life decisions. They also came with Lily to career guidance sessions. The farm had a transformational impact on Lily’s life at a time when she was struggling significantly in school and had been expelled from successive educational units. Lily is currently studying at a local college and next year is hoping to begin an undergraduate degree. As she says: “If it wasn’t for the farm I don’t know where I’d be now. I’m so grateful for everything they did for me.”
Lily's Story
“Living in London it's very easy to feel separate from nature. So having the opportunity to work with animals outside of work felt amazing.”
Other volunteers' experiences
Kieran has been coming to the farm every week for over 10 years. His support worker said: “This place is great for Kieran because he doesn’t have an academic type of autism. This is a very good place for him because he can do physical tasks and it’s very relaxed.” At the same time as providing a safe space for Kieran, the farm enables him to continually learn new skills and gain in confidence around the animals.
People with learning disabilities
People dealing with loss and isolation
Richard first started volunteering at Freightliners City Farm three years ago when he retired. Richard used his volunteering experience as a therapeutic way of dealing with the loss of his parents. Gardening gave Richard a sense of purpose and responsibility at a time of sadness: "As your parents and you get older, the idea of life continuing, plant life, has an emotional resonance. It's something that points me to the future."
People with mental health issues
“I suffer from OCD, and Freightliners has helped in two ways. Firstly, although I was no longer afraid of muck by the time I started volunteering at Freightliners, I find it very reassuring that I can regularly get knee-deep in the muck heap, which would have terrified me 20 years ago, and enjoy it! Also, a lot of people at Freightliners have mental difficulties of one sort of another, and everyone is accepted, so I didn't feel odd, which was not how things were at school.”
Get in touch
Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about visiting, taking part in a workshop or course, or volunteering at Freightliners City Farm. We also want to hear from you if you would like to support us in a different way - we are always looking for new partnership and funding opportunities!