Tuppenny Barn Education is a children’s charity passionate about offering unique opportunities for children and young people, to learn about sustainability focussing on horticulture, cookery and healthy eating, to help foster healthy lifestyles and emotional wellbeing. They work across Hampshire and West Sussex with school visits, prioritising those from areas of disadvantage. Alongside their schools visit education programme, they deliver a horticultural therapy programme to vulnerable adults. All activities are delivered in line with their ethos of sustainability – they value having a positive impact on the local and wider environment.
With the onset of the Covid19 pandemic, they were unable to offer school visits. They focused on supporting the local community by setting up a Food Hardship Fund which allowed them to provide weekly food boxes to vulnerable families in food poverty. Many of the families in food poverty depended on child carers because of mental health issues, chronic long term illnesses or cancer in a family member. They decided to support this group of young people by setting up a Young Carers Group. The sessions are run by two education officers with the support of a horticultural therapist and a member of the school. The children have a chance to shed their responsibilities, explore the outdoor site and take part in fun projects which are based around growing produce and learning about the natural world. They started with the Year 8 group who visit during school hours every two weeks.
There are an estimated 800,000 young carers in the UK providing care for their families. Isla’s grant will allow Tuppenny Barn to expand these vital sessions to other year groups.