Hartpury pitches in and forks out to help City Farm change children’s lives

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Hartpury are hoping to help a local charity continue to support children as part of an inner-city farming initiative in Gloucester.

The college and university centre’s Principal, Russell Marchant, was on hand to deliver St. James’ City Farm and Riding school a cheque for £5,000. The money will go towards helping with the upkeep of the City Farm over the course of the next year.

Hartpury have had a long-running partnership with St. James’ City Farm and Riding School, which offers young people in Gloucester exciting projects ranging from learning how to grow your own vegetables to designing and building livestock housing.

Imran Atcha, Co-ordinator of St James’ City Farm and Riding School in Tredworth, Gloucester, said: “We’re thrilled that the support from Hartpury is set to continue, not only the tree pruning and fence fixing we’ve had done in the past, but also in the form of the generous sponsorship.

“Keeping cattle, horses and poultry in the city has its added logistical demands, and the funding will free up donations to provide even more opportunities for the children and volunteers to continue to learn.”

As well as the financial support, there is mutual benefit between the City Farm and Hartpury, with the college providing work experience students. Many of whom return and continue to volunteer even after leaving Hartpury.

Hartpury Principal, Russell Marchant, said: “St James’ City Farm and Riding School is a fantastic charity that makes such a difference to children in Gloucestershire.”

“Their values align closely with ours – opening young people’s eyes to the wonders of animals and agriculture – and we’re delighted to be able to continue to strengthen our links with them and provide funding and practical support that will enable them to keep up their great work.”

The City Farm recently set up a riding school which a Hartpury student and graduate were instrumental in helping with. It gives people who lives miles from the countryside the chance to ride and learn about horses.

The centre has not only secured their council licence but also been awarded British Horse Society approval. This enables the centre to encourage and support riders to take British Horse Society qualifications, which will help them increase their knowledge and ensure they meet industry standards if they then want to go on to work with horses or study for an equine diploma or degree.

Around 40 equine students from Hartpury with ambitions to become riding instructors have also been involved with coaching local people at the riding school. They have taught a range of lessons to clients and workers at the charity organisation, taking them through everything from lead rein to delivering individual private lessons for adults, home-educated students and children.

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