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Stepping it up!Rhubarb Farm keeps getting bigger and better with fruit and veg crops, a cafe, home built pizza ovens, composting toilet, a bug hotel, a wildlife/pond area, and lots of activities.Over 150 volunteers have helped to clear, dig, plant and build on the site, and Rhubarb Farm has been extremely successful in engaging with the hardest to reach, particularly those with mental health issues and/or offender backgrounds. Although funding through the WNF ceased at the end of March 2012, much of the work at Rhubarb Farm will continue.

First Farm Steps Archive


2011/12 Year End

The Rhubarb Farm site has seen significant developments during Quarter 4 including the reception and office containers now being operational, the fencing around the whole site being installed, a bug hotel being created and a wildlife/pond area being dug out.

Volunteers have delivered 1548 hours over the quarter and regular visits from groups and organisations continue including young people that are NEET. Nine apprentices joined the staff team in February covering a range of duties on site and will be completing an NVQ qualification.

Informal learning continues at Rhubarb Farm, from heath related discussions to healthy eating and cooking activity. Rhubarb Farm won a Healthy Places award this quarter also which recognises the work at Rhubarb Farm in promoting healthy eating. 

Rhubarb Farm has been extremely successful in engaging with the hardest to reach, particularly those with mental health issues and/or offender backgrounds, and offers a very supportive and caring environment to assist moving people closer to the labour market.  Although funding through the WNF ceased at the end of March 2012, much of the work at Rhubarb Farm will continue.  However, this is dependent on the organisation securing ongoing funding until enough income is generated to achieve sustainability.

  • Veg Box Scheme launched
  • Apprentices employed
  • Rhubarb Farm becomes Credit Union collection point
  • Courses include Willow Weaving, Wood Carving, Composting Toilet Construction.
2011/12 Quarter 3

A lot has been happening at Rhubarb Farm during Q3:

  • Day to day running has continued with crop planting etc and informal learning continues.
  • The office container was insulated by Westville who generously donated all materials and labour free of charge, worth £6,000. 
  • Site Manager ran a course in pizza oven construction and a deluxe second pizza oven now sits beside the first. 
  • A group of NEETs built a smokery.  The fire tunnel of the first model they built collapsed when the fire was lit, which was an excellent opportunity for the young people to learn that failure can be overcome, because they re-designed the tunnel, rebuilt it, and it worked perfectly.  
  • Community Service Order teams continued to clear dead wood from the hedges and finished clearing the top end of the two acre site ready for its development as a wildlife area.

And the Winner is Rhubarb Farm!

The Prime Minister has extended his congratulations to the winning businesses of this nationwide scheme. He said: "Congratulations to all the winners of the Local Business Accelerators scheme. It's brilliant that so many promising young companies, from such a wide range of sectors, are benefiting from this excellent initiative." The winning business in the Mansfield Chad - community organisation Rhubarb Farm - will receive free advertising in the three editions of the Chad, worth more than $40,000 over a three-month period.

2011/12 Quarter 2

A lot has been happening at Rhubarb Farm during Quarter 2, some key areas of activity include:

  • Approval from Environmental Heath for the café
  • Community Service Order teams have started clearing the top end of the two acre site, ready for conversion to a wildlife area
  • 63 visitors have been in site this quarter and 20 new volunteers from the Bolsover district
  • In total, 41 new volunteers resulting in 193 volunteer days and 986.25 volunteer hours being worked on site
  • A group of 3-5 people with learning disabilities comes to site every Thursday from Whitwell Park Nursing Home
  • Delivering Enrichment Opportunities for a group of 5-8 NEETs every three weeks for ACORN Training in Ripley.
  • Derbyshire Probation Trust continues to send work teams of young men on Community Payback
  • A second corporate volunteering day took place on 28 September.  Eleven staff from Jobcentres did a day’s work
  • Rhubarb Farm is in discussion with the Bolsover Apprenticeship Programme about taking apprentices in the next round
  • In September, Karen Fox was appointed to the position of Youth Worker with NEETs, a part-time post three days a week.  This has been funded through a contract with Raising Aspirations (strands 1-3).  She will commence work in November.
  • On 17 September Jason and Jennie began a four week training course on Growing Vegetables, for beginners.  Seven people attended, and the course was very well received. The course generated income as four participants paid for their training.


Open pdf documentGrowing Vegetables Course Poster

Open pdf documentFamily Fun Day Poster 23 July 2011

Open pdf documentFarm therapy is changing lives - article featured in Mansfield and Ashfield Chad on 6 July 2011

Open pdf documentHearty Harvest

Open pdf documentPizza Oven Making Course

2011/12 Quarter 1

In May, fencing was erected with the extra funds made available by Bolsover Partnership, and the entire “business” end of Rhubarb Farm was fenced and secured, making a big difference to the security of the site and enabling vegetables to be planted. In June, the cafe cabin purchased with WNF in Quarter 4 of 2010/2011 was transported to site and located next to the Village Green. The cafe has a fully equipped kitchen with cooker, sinks, wash basin, freezer, units and serving counter. There is room for about 12 people to sit for food. The cafe will also double in the short term as a training space for courses and seminars.

Rhubarb Farm held their first corporate volunteering day on 3 June. Fourteen Department for Work and Pensions staff from Job Centres and their Partnership Team did a days work at the Farm.

2010/11 Year End

A lot of physical set up and development has taken place at Rhubarb Farm over the last quarter including the installation of electricity, connection to water and erection of a fence to secure the business end of the site.  A Horticulturalist has now been recruited to work on site.  Having site supervision has also enabled Rhubarb Farm to take on a further three unemployed people through opportunities via the Future Jobs Fund.  A Community Payback team and staff supervisor from Derbyshire Probation Trust continue to work at Rhubarb Farm on a weekly basis to clear and prepare the ground as well as litter pick.  Rhubarb Farm also has several regular volunteers with learning difficulties attending once a week each. Raising Aspirations (Connexions) placed a young man at Rhubarb Farm who became the first paying placement.  Shirebrook Job Centre also regularly refers volunteers to Rhubarb Farm, but some are not in a position to take up opportunities, either through anxiety problems or other difficulties.  This is being addressed with the support of NHS Derbyshire County Health Trainers who will accompany people to Rhubarb Farm when they start.

In some cases, Rhubarb Farm has over achieved on its outputs, particularly jobs created.  However, because the site is still undeveloped, and most of the volunteering opportunities in Quarter 4 have been heavy jobs, it has not been possible to create a wide enough range of volunteering opportunities to reach the target, or to attract as wide a group of volunteers as originally hoped.  However, as more facilities go on site and the diversity of opportunities is increased it is hoped that more volunteers will be attracted to working on the site and output targets will be caught up in coming quarters.

2010/11 Quarter 3
During Quarter 3 the following activities have taken place:
  • Electrical connection has been commissioned from Eon
  • Horticulturist and Admin/Finance Worker posts advertised in November and interviews were held in December and January respectively
  • Admin/Finance worker appointed and commenced on 5 January.  The lady is from Langwith and was made redundant recently.
  • The search continues for a Horticulturist, so a suitable interim worker has been appointed.
  • “Soup on Site” event was held on site to publicise the enterprise to local residents.  About 60 people attended.
  • Rhubarb Farm registered for VAT.
  • Rhubarb Farm contracted to have the car park, foundations for the containers and ducting for electricity and water on site carried out by a Palterton contractor. Because of snow on due date of start, this work will now start on 20 January.
  • A Community Payback team and staff supervisor from Derbyshire Probation Trust started clearing the site from 9 October, and came on site every week from then until the heavy snow and frosts started on 30 November.
  • Androo Thornton resigned his Directorship on 29 November.
  • Two new directors then joined Rhubarb Farm:  John Beazer was Chief Eexecutive Officer of a social firm providing employment for disabled people, and Kath Sharpe, Secretary of the Langwith Society.
  • Rhubarb Farm’s first newsletter was produced

WNF First Farm images

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