An organic farm which gives vulnerable people a chance to learn horticultural skills could be in line a cash boost to help it grow.
Rhubarb Farm CIC, the Langwith-based organisation providing work placement, training and volunteering opportunities for those with long-term health and social needs, is celebrating after finding out that it has been shortlisted for an award that could see the organisation secure £25,000.
The ongoing success of Rhubarb Farm is testament to a forward thinking organisation working in the coalfields communities
Thanks to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and its Enterprising Communities Programme, Rhubarb Farm CIC has been shortlisted to be one of five that will secure the funds and use them to invest into the charity.
Growing fruit and vegetables at field scale, Rhubarb Farm is able to provide hands-on training and volunteering opportunities for people requiring additional support and encouragement in order to get them work-ready.
Ex-offenders and those with mental health problems, along with people who struggle with social situations, recovering drug and alcohol misusers and young people who have been excluded from school can all become volunteers.
The Farm runs a weekly veg bag scheme and supplies local farm shops, cafes and pubs, with volunteers working on all aspects of packing and crop presentation, to build their confidence.
Managing Director of Rhubarb Farm, Jennie Street said: “We are so pleased that we have been shortlisted for this award. Once again we can showcase exactly what we do and how encouraging people to get involved can make a positive difference to individuals who in some instances come to us with no hope at all.”
She added: “There is never a dull day here on the Farm but we are conscious that we need vital funds to continue our work. If we were successful the prize money would be used to support our long-term future and to reach out to even more people who need our support.”
Head of Operations (England) for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Andy Lock said: “The ongoing success of Rhubarb Farm is testament to a forward thinking organisation working in the coalfields communities. Not only does the Farm have a direct impact on those that volunteer but also on the wider community, which is what we want to champion.
He added: “All of the shortlisted organisations are worthy winners and it is going to be really tough to make the final decision. The work that these individuals, organisations and community groups are involved with really does change lives and the impact it has locally and beyond is the real success story. We wish them all the best of luck.”
The Enterprising Communities Programme, delivered by Coalfields Regeneration Trust, aims to stimulate community enterprise and grow the social investment in former mining communities.
The programme objectives are to support community organisations to become more enterprising, help them develop new opportunities to safeguard and grow their activities and secure the resources necessary to realise their ambitions.