After our busiest month ever last month - smashing our occupancy and financial targets, and having over 1,000 people through our doors between projects, events and other users of the building , we are now winding down from what has been an incredible year.
We are the first charity in Scotland to transition from a charity (SCIO) to a community benefit society with charitable status (CBS). This has allowed people to become part-owners of the Farmhouse and allowed us to raise over £70,000, an incredible amount which will ensure a strong start for the New Year ahead as well as ensuring we complete the kitting out the building.
We have seen our average weekly numbers rise from 50-100 to over 400 on weeks when we hold an event.
We have hosted major events and staff away days for key Edinburgh based charities such as the Welcoming, Crisis, Inspiring Scotland, Thistle Foundation, Positive Realities, Slow Food Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland, The Real Junk Food Project Edinburgh, Lone Fathers Edinburgh, the Orchard Project, to name but a few. We were part of the Tradfest, Power of Food Festival and International Storytelling Festival and held many other events for locals throughout the year.
We have hosted a funeral tea for 120; a christening; a 70th birthday party; children’s parties; pop-up dinners and have 2 weddings and a hen party (daytime!) now booked for next year. Come us speak to us, if you would like to discuss any events or celebrations we could host for you. All packages are bespoke.
We have also held a range of learning activities on site from Spoon Carving to Chair Making, Permaculture, Foraging, Natural Cosmetics, Cafe training skills, Up-cycling, Cooking, Pizza making, Oatcake making, Oral History gathering, Lime pointing, Arts and Crafts workshops and summer programmes with free workshops for families featuring mosaics, animation and more.
Over the year we have run the building supported by over 80 volunteers offering food projects, history sessions, and welcoming visiting groups like the Dirty Weekenders, student volunteers, international visitors and local folks. All of which couldn’t happen without local support. If you fancy getting involved next year, we have a host of new plans – watch for more information in our January newsletter.
Our main projects...
Come Dine with Us has run for 2 terms this year, feeding local folks, as well as ensuring 14 volunteers gained qualifications and skills working under a professional chef.
The Place, Work and Folk project has gathered oral history from over 30 locals, worked with schools, and held major events. All of which will culminate in events early next year which will highlight their marvellous work over the last 18 months.
Our Drop-ins on Wednesday and Sundays have been busy and productive with a steady stream of new volunteers coming to take part in a wide variety of activities which have all helped us to achieve great things on site.
Our Acorn Fund has kick-started a youth outdoor group; a singing group; medicinal dahl classes, a wormery build and a drumming group. Coming in the New Year - a guitar group and woodwork group.
It’s been an incredible year, but more importantly, we want to say a huge thank you to all our supporters, partners, member/shareholders and of course our wonderful volunteers and wish everyone the best for the festive season and for a fantastic 2019.
Merry Christmas from all of us here at Bridgend Farmhouse.
You’ve maybe heard about our Place, Work and Folk community oral history project.
Over the past year and a bit, our 20 volunteers have been interviewing, researching and gathering wonderful living memories, from dozens of local folk who recall the working farm and the community around it (1940s-1990s). They’ve brought it all vividly back to life for us and I can’t thank them, or our amazingly dedicated volunteers, enough.
It’s been a joy, a privilege, an honour – sometimes also a host of surprises, a flurry of unexpected outcomes and a hoot! Now it’s time to present it all back to you, and to establish an archive that community groups and learners of all ages can engage with and take inspiration from in the future.
We’re creating a booklet with photographs, excerpts from our interviews, features on the wider story of the farm (putting the farmers themselves at centre stage), a full account of our project activities, public events, school workshops and much more. There will be a film featuring the Darlings, the Binnies and other key interviewees, a full range of Soundcloud recordings and soundbites, plus a marvellous mini-museum upstairs featuring our exhibition, creative displays and all our tales from the past. And wait till you see our Mosaic Timeline of Bridgend! All to be launched this February.
Contact me for more information - we hope you’ll want to visit us and make use of all we’ve collected. Heritage Lottery Fund have generously funded us up to the end of February, but our legacy will live on in all kinds of activities and creations - well into the future.
Mobile (Monday-Thursday): 07976 882038 (on leave 20 Dec-13 Jan)