The Pearce Coggan Foundation
CHARITABLE PROGRESS TO DATE
Currently, we have made the following progress towards the charitable aims
Investing in the development of the community wildlife vegetable garden.
We have funded the employment of a part-time Community Garden Manager, currently for 4 days per week, to drive this development. From November 1st, 2016 we also employed a horticultural apprentice, in conjunction with Hadlow College. This was an 18th month commitment which we were keen to repeat and in 2020, we funded another apprentice to study Production Horticulture and we now have our 3rd apprentice. This program will continue. The garden is now established sufficiently to bring visitors to spend time gardening and growing vegetables and achieving the physical and mental benefits of being outdoors and active. This development also significantly enriches the wildlife habitat in this area of Green Farm.
Since the first lockdown in 2020, we have been running a pop-up coffee shop on a weekly basis. People come for coffee, cake, vegetable, bread a community chat.
Serving the local Community.
Serving the local Community. Since 2016, we have had several volunteers, many with learning difficulties, come and work in the Wildlife Community Garden on a regular basis. Since early October 2016, the local Pay-Back team of the Probation Service has brought clients every Friday to serve their Community Service. During the 2020 coronavirus lockdown we started selling Community Garden vegetables and running a pop-up coffee stall on Thursdays; this will continue even when the virus becomes a distant memory.
Partnering for our visitors. Inspired by MaryAnn’s roots in Lambeth, South London.
Our first activity in this partnership was to host ten 9-year olds, with 6 leaders, to spend 4 days camping in the woods and following a modified “forest school” curriculum in August 2015. Unfortunately, The Kids’ Company ceased trading in the week that was set for the visit and the trip was cancelled. However, we then partnered with the not-for-profit Outdoor People who brought 6 single parent families from Hackney, London to camp for 3 days during August 2016, 14 families in 2017 and many more in 2018 & 2019. Outdoor People’s purpose is very like ours: getting kids outdoors and active. We were planning 5 Outdoor Family Camping weeks in 2020, but lockdown stopped that; however we will still manage 3 in July, August and October with two more in 2021 and another two in 2022. We also ran a hugely successful Volunteer's Training weekend in Spring 2021. This is our flagship programme, however it is expensive for Outdoor People and PCF with each visit costing ~£5,000. With more funds, we could do a lot more.
Working with Kent Wildlife Trust
We are managing the pastures and woodland for significant environmental improvement. In 2012 we commissioned a survey of all the pastures at Green Farm, and at the neighbouring Alex Farm, to get a baseline for future improvement and subsidised a trainee volunteer at KWT to work on the Ashford Meadows Project, aimed at bringing several low weald meadows, including those at Green Farm, into a unified wildlife habitat. The environment around Green Farm is very special, including some of the few remaining examples of some of the most threatened wildlife habitats in the country. See Annex D: Flora & Fauna in the Area: An analysis by the Kent Wildlife Trust. We have also sewn an acre of new wildflower meadow and ¼-acre of wild bird seed mix (meadow plants that seed late in the season to help sustain birds over the winter). We have also lent our facilities for Kent Wildlife Trust to run a series of one day workshops, using Green Farm as a study site for environmental improvement.
Working with local schools and charities
We are heavily involved with Homewood School, Tenterden. Young people in the wellbeing program come to the Community Garden every week during term time. Their 6 form Business Studies course ran a project on "How to market the Community Garden"
We have also partnered with the Teddington Trust, a Charity creating and funding global projects to improve quality of life for patients and families affected by Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP). We have adapted Green Farm Barn, a 12-person holiday cottage, to make it a safe environment for XP sufferers by fitting all the windows with anti-UV (Dermaguard) film and ultra-low UV emitting lighting. This allows families that include XP sufferers to have short breaks is a safe environment. Families have stayed in the Barn, or at heavily discounted rates, subsidised by The Pearce Coggan Foundation with the benefit that the XP sufferers can be sure that the Barn is a "safe area" for them.