Josiah Lockhart: £100k will help secure Gorgie City Farm’s future

Alex Findlay, 5, meets the new pygmy goats at Gorgie City Farm. Picture: Toby Williams
Alex Findlay, 5, meets the new pygmy goats at Gorgie City Farm. Picture: Toby Williams
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THE response to our appeal has been amazing, says Josiah Lockhart, but we need one last push to safeguard attraction.

HAVING become the new General Manager of the Gorgie City Farm near the end of January, I’ve been overwhelmed and amazed at the support the people of Edinburgh have given to the farm.

Despite walking into increased costs and a significant reduction in expected funding, the response of our supporters, staff, politicians, volunteers and customers constantly keeps me optimistic. All the way from young children giving us their piggy bank and doing sponsored silences, all the way to politicians running 5ks, we are constantly surprised by all the exciting ways people have been contributing.

Raising more than 80 per cent of our target in under three weeks is something everyone in the city should be proud of.

Gorgie City Farm is this wonderful place that everyone in the city seems to have heard of and have a story about. But, one thing I’m constantly surprised by is that beyond being a free entry destination, which had close to 170,000 visitors last year, many people aren’t fully aware of the breadth of activities on offer.

In addition to providing a wonderful piece of the countryside in the heart of the city, we have a youth and social inclusion project working with over 130 individuals every week. We also have a thriving pet boarding business, busy educational programme, and host kids’ parties at the weekend.

On top of all of that, our farm products are praised by some of Edinburgh’s top chefs making us one of the few places in the city where you can “walk the food chain.”

Achieving the goal of raising £100,000 ultimately helps stabilise the farm and allows us space to implement a strategy and plan to keep the farm open well into the future. As we emerge from this urgent appeal, watch the farm for sustainable growth. We will be focusing on how to engage more with our visitors, local schools and tour groups. We will be further developing our social enterprises into vibrant contributors to our charitable activities and a space where people, regardless of age or ability, are valued for their contribution.

We’ve come a long way in the past four weeks, and are starting to see the farm’s future beginning to open up, but we still need your help to hit our £100,000 target. Every little bit helps, even the small £1-£2 donations add up. You can make a donation by texting “FARM44 £5” to 70070, visiting www.justgiving.com/gorgiecityfarmassociation or sending a cheque to Gorgie City Farm, 51 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2L.

Thank you Edinburgh for believing Gorgie City Farm is worth saving. We can’t do this without your support. Let’s all dig deep now and finish strong!

• Josiah Lockhart is general manager at Gorgie City Farm