What is ChariTEA?
We choose a new ChariTEA (Charity - see what we did there!) every quarter which is close to our hearts. The ChariTEA is nominated by one of our Teabirds, they then chooses a tea blend that reflects them or what they support and we donate the profits of the blend to their wonderful cause!
This quarter (April 2021 to June 2021) our chosen ChariTEA is Stonebridge City Farm, Nottingham - a much loved city farm and visitor centre that is run by volunteers and gives visitors a little slice of the countryside in the heart of the city.
The tea they have chosen as their blend is Eton Mess. So every penny of profit from this blend from April to June will be donated to supporting the running of farm! If you buy Eton Mess online or in store this quarter, you can enjoy your brew knowing you're doing good too!
How did Stonebridge City Farm become our ChariTEA of the Quarter?
Jazz from our Nottingham store is a huge fan & supporter of the farm so she nominated them to be considered as our ChariTEA of the Quarter.
Here's what she has to say about why she nominated them:
"I’m absolutely over the moon that Bird & Blend is supporting Stonebridge City Farm in Nottingham. I’ve been visiting the farm a lot over the years and can see how much the Nottingham community relies on the farm being open to the public. It provides such a beautiful green, peaceful space in the heart of the city centre that I know so many people rely on; whether it’s for education/school workshops or just a day out with the kids. Stonebridge is a wonderful place and I can’t wait to return once it reopens!"
Who are Stonebridge City Farm & what do they do?
Set just outside of the centre of Nottingham, this delightful city farm is a registered charity that, when open again, has an army of over 140 volunteers on site each week, over 70% of whom have mental health challenges or a learning disability.
They have a wide range of animals from guinea pigs & rabbits to aviary houses with cockatiels, finches, budgerigars and quail, poultry including chickens and ducks, to farm animals including cows, pigs, goats, sheep and ponies. The farm has a calendar of additional seasonal activities – including lamb feeding, sheep shearing and goat grooming.
There is also a children's play area, a café and shop. The cafe sells a variety of home-made pasties and sausage rolls (vegetarian and meat options), home-made cakes, hot and cold drinks and ice creams. The shop sells a range of snacks, ice creams, their own Stonebridge Honey, small pocket money items and their own eggs and produce when available.
They also have beautiful gardens where they grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and wild flowers, with a mix of beds and polytunnels, all without artificial pesticides! They use food plants, such as marigolds, to distract pests and provide forage and shelter for predators.
Their volunteers are the life blood of the farm and they offer work placements, alternative provision placements and general volunteering positions across most areas of the farm. People have the opportunity to learn new skills, use their experience to contribute to the development of the farm and be part of the farm family. They have also helped many young people with the experiences they need for their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
They have volunteer positions to suit everyone – in the gardens, working with animals, in the café, office and the shop, helping with events or keeping the farm clean and well-maintained. To help the farm site to stay open during covid restrictions they now have ‘Site Supporter’ opportunities who will guide members of the public with their new one way system, advise on hygiene and give social distancing information.
Effects of Covid on the farm
The farm has been hit hard by covid and the restrictions in place during the various lockdowns during 2020/21. As a charity, they rely on donations to enable the farm to keep running and maintain the facilities for visitors and volunteers. By the end of March 2021 the farm will have lost £100,000 in expected income during the Covid-19 pandemic.
They have worked hard to put safety measures and social distancing in place so that they can open to the public again on 12th April and they can't wait to do this. There is a new, outside welcome desk, shop and cafe stalls which gives volunteers much more opportunity to engage with visitors. Through crucial funding they have bought lined, waterproof jackets for volunteers rotating on shifts outside to make sure they don't get cold!
How are we supporting them?
We are thrilled to be working with Stonebridge City Farm through a range of different activities over the quarter. These will include staff volunteering days, donating tea to sell in their cafe, a mixology workshop on site to thank their volunteers & a super fun charity event. We will be sharing more information about this soon, so keep your eyes peeled on our socials for updates!
How can you help?
If you want to help Stonebridge City Farm directly you can donate to their 2021 Appeal here.