Gorgie City Farm appeal close to £60k of £100k goal

Tracy Cudworth arrived at Gorgie City Farm as a volunteer and has remained there ever since. Picture: Jon Savage

Tracy Cudworth arrived at Gorgie City Farm as a volunteer and has remained there ever since. Picture: Jon Savage

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THE campaign to save Gorgie City Farm has raised almost £60,000 less than a week after it was launched.

The much-loved urban farm has received about £52,000 in donations, with an extra £5000 expected to come in from Sainsbury’s customers.

The supermarket giant agreed to support the farm and announced yesterday that it was extending its collection to the end of this week.

SEE ALSO: Gorgie City Farm founder Bill Brockie recalls early days

Shoppers at six stores across the city have been making donations but the official total is still to be tallied up.

John Teasdale, of the farm, said that he had been “overwhelmed” by the support and generosity shown.

And Tracy Cudworth, a former volunteer who now works at the farm, urged people to dig deep to ensure the farm reaches its £100,000 target.

She became involved in the farm in the 1990s through a training-for-work scheme and is now a garden co-ordinator.

She had graduated from Edinburgh University but didn’t know what to do next and was finding it difficult to find work.

Tracy said: “When I first came here I really was a lost soul and they picked me up and put me back on my feet.

“It’s nice to see that this is still happening. It’s still offering support to people.

“It may have changed in some ways but, in essence, it still has the same values as then.

“And it’s very rewarding to be able to give back and, from being a volunteer myself, I am now working with volunteers.

SEE ALSO: Gorgie City Farm volunteers to walk over hot coals to raise cash

Back in 1977 the land on which the farm lies was derelict and several plans were mooted to build houses there.

But a community group led by the late Bunty Anderson had other ideas and locals agreed they would rather see it as a green space.

And for many children living in deprived city wards it was one of the only places where they could encounter live animals.

Since it opened as Gorgie City Farm in 1982, tens of thousands of visitors each year have been able to experience farm life at first hand.

But spiralling running costs and a slump in external funding led to an urgent plea on Saturday for £100,000.

The farm has been running for more than 38 years but financial struggles in recent months led to the closure of its cafe in January.

To donate text “FARM44 £5” to 70070, visit www.justgiving.com/gorgiecityfarm association or send a cheque to Gorgie City Farm, 51 Gorgie Road, EH11 2LA

john.connell@jpress.co.uk