: Simone Uncle - Play Coordinator at Kentish Town Farm

Kentish Town Farm - Kids Activities in London
© Kentish Town Farm

Could you introduce yourself and tell us your role on the farm

My name is Simone Uncle. I am the play development coordinator of the farm and I have been here since 2003. My job includes:- programming actvities for children after school, weekends and during the holidays; organising our four annual festivals; recruiting volunteers; fundraising; farmyard duties; organising trips out; organising activity evenings for volunteers; overseeing the under 5's drop in's; attending meetings, training, quality assurance measures such as risk assessments, CRB checks

How did you get into farming?

I have always loved animals but for the role of play deveopment coordinator I did not need experience of working with animals. Since starting here, I chose to learn as much about the animals as I could and now work on the yard with the animals every Thursday and Sunday and throughout the school holidays, as well as fulfill my other job description duties.

How many people work on the farm and what are their roles?

Full Time Manager - to overseee finances, utility bills, fundraiser. To work with trustees and staff to develop the farm .Stockman - looks after the animals - has exstensive knowledge of farming, agriculture, animal welfare. Deals with work experience for young people and adults with special needs. Two Riding Instructors - Responsible for running pony club, adult riding, holiday sessions for local charities and playschemes, looking after and exercising the farm's horses. Education Officer - Busy education programme, the education officer takes groups of school children around the farm teaching them about animals, food and the environment.

We also have other sessional workers who use the farm on a weekly basis to run different activities. These include pottery, steiner under 5's drop-in, messy play under 5's drop-in, sing-song for under 5's drop-in. We also have a committed group of volunteers who run monthly sessions in arts and crafts, design our events posters, run sessions during the holidays, help out in the office, website designer, support our four annual events. We could not function without their input.

Is it a working farm?

Yes. We have a breeding programme and the animals are sold for meat and to other farms on the outskirts of London.

What are the farms main aims?

To offer an example of a working farm and free access to nature and countryside in an inner city environment. To work with the local community especially young children on both an educational and recreational basis. To offer affordable activities for all ages and provide a safe busy environment for all to enjoy .

How are you funded?

Around 1/3 of our funding comes from Camden Council, plus trusts such as City Bridge, Help a London Child and other grant making organisations. We also rely on donations by the visiting public.

How are you involved with local schools?

We offer school tours around the farm on a daily basis and also take workshops into school grounds. Many children who come at the weekends and after school to help out with the animals come from the local schools.

How would you like to see the farm expand/grow in the future?

To develop the embankment into a new working area and to gain sufficient funding that would allow us to employ new project workers to offer a wider range/choice of farm/wildlife inspired activities.

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