(An email from a friend reminded me just how long it is since I last posted here. Oh my goodness. I know life has been busy (and an added unseasonal and long-lasting cold didn’t help), but the gap wasn’t intended. I’m glad to be back. I wrote this last month, then forgot all about it).
It was a real ‘magic jug’ moment.
One night early in May there was quite a bit of damage done around Bath City Farm. Relatively low level vandalism: nothing life-changing, but still very upsetting for the staff and volunteers who had worked hard to make the place beautiful and life-affirming.
But one thing leads to another. It just so happened that our manager was doing a local radio interview the next day, and she mentioned in passing what had happened. People who heard the interview got in touch to offer sympathy and offer help. Someone suggested that we should put an appeal on our Local Giving page to help pay for improved security on our very open site. Staff discussed it, and reckoned that £300 would be enough enable them to install additional CCTV cameras in strategic places. They put up the appeal, and waited to see what happened.
What happened next was that within days the £300 was raised and surpassed. It quickly became over £4,000, and still the money came. Alongside the donations, and just as important to us, were the messages of love and support. Someone baked biscuits and dropped by with them for our staff, to cheer them up. Businesses and local organisations offered help in kind. In all the appeal raised around £5,000. This will be invaluable in helping improve fencing around key areas, and to make other changes to improve security.
What we learnt was that the farm is valued, loved and cherished. That if we have a real need, we can ask for help and expect to receive it. That we give what our local community wants, and that we are indeed at the heart of our local community.
It costs us over £850 every single day to run the farm, and we have to somehow raise that amount of money year after year after year, in a financial climate that is becoming tougher and tougher.
How wonderful to know that when the chips are down, we have such support out there. Sometimes good can and does come from bad.