What we do
The Country Trust supports better life chances for disadvantaged children through hands-on food, farming and countryside experiences.
We aim to empower children to create change in their lives and in the world around them, to help them feel included and to have a greater sense of connection with their own and the wider community.
We do this through:
- Educational visits to real working farms and the countryside – Farm Discovery
- In-school cooking, growing and food confidence programme – Food Discovery
- In-school and online farm discovery days - Farm in a Box
- Residential visits to the countryside – Countryside Discovery Residentials
Food and farming are key not only to our own health but the health of our planet. We all eat, so we are all participants and our choices and actions matter. Our programmes enable children to find their connections to the big issues of our time; food, climate change, and their own mental health and well-being.
We are an educational charity and currently work with around 20,000 children and families every year across England and North Wales. We work with primary schools with a higher than average percentage of children eligible for Free School Meals, as well as schools providing for children with Special Educational Needs, alternative providers, PRUs, groups supporting young carers, looked after children, refugees and asylum seekers.
Why we do it
There are currently around 4.5 million children living in poverty in the UK and this looks set to rise. Poverty impacts child development and opportunity to thrive. On average, children who live in poverty will have poorer health, do less well in education, have lower self-esteem and be more likely to become involved in crime.
We aim to give children from disadvantaged backgrounds access to rich opportunities and experiences - vital for developing emotional, intellectual and social skills and for building self-confidence and self-esteem.
“What children need is very simple. They need someone to go places with, somebody to talk with, to open their eyes, to create some new environments and plan experiences. Sadly, too many children lack this basic opportunity." Professor Mick Waters.
It is particularly important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to access opportunities and experiences that ‘open their eyes’ outside the classroom because they are much less likely to have such exposure elsewhere.
For more on how it all began, see Our Roots
James Hulme, Goodwork PR
Email / 07990 682 336
Jill Attenborough, Country Trust CEO
Jill joined The Country Trust in 2014 bringing over 17 years’ experience of developing and directing award winning and innovative public engagement programmes for the Woodland Trust.
Email / 07760 171 146
Sue Thompson, Major Donor Fundraiser, Farm Coordinator and Comms
Katie Watts, Farm in a Box Project Manager
Vicki Leng, Learning and Evaluation Lead
Email (available Mon - Wed am)
Read our past coverage here