Leading North East law firm, Muckle LLP, recently supported UK education charity, The Country Trust, with their goal of connecting local school children with a working farmyard to discover how food is grown and produced in Britain.
Aiming to bring the farm into the classroom, youngsters from Mountfield Primary School travelled to Longwitton Farm to meet John Goodfellows, a veteran North East farmer, as they embarked on a day-long excursion learning about the origins of food, sustainability and traditional farming techniques in the Great British countryside.
The trip to Longwitton is part of a much wider project for The Country Trust, who, as soaring living costs continue to affect the nation, are supporting families by inviting school children from deprived areas to step outside the classroom and learn about British farming.
The Country Trust currently reach 25,000 children per year but is aiming to grow this to 125,000 children per year in the next five years through their dynamic educational experiences.
Through food, farming and countryside experiences, The Country Trust is centred around giving back to the community and empowering children to be confident, curious and create change in their lives and the world around them – so that they and society can thrive.
Governed by a Board of Trustees composed of 7 members, the charity typically works with youngsters who experience disadvantage through low family income, SEN/D (Special Educational Needs/Disabilities) or SEMH needs (Social, Emotional or Mental Health), children in care, young carers, have refugee or asylum seeker status and those on the margins of mainstream education.
Sue Thompson, Farm Discovery Coordinator at The Country Trust said: “I am delighted that we were able to enjoy a fabulous day out with the pupils from Mountfield learning more about where our food comes from, the farming techniques involved and sustainability.
“John Goodfellows and his team at Longwitton have been nothing short of fantastic with the kids. It is experiences like this that make a significant impact on children, especially post-Covid, help to get them thinking beyond a traditional classroom setting, build new connections and create good, long-lasting memories for years to come.
“With rising living costs, Brexit food shortages and the population becoming increasingly aware of the origins of their food, it’s never been more important to understand where our food comes from and the hard-working people who help produce it.
“We are extremely grateful to Muckle LLP and the Agriculture team for connecting us with John Goodfellows and his team. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with a law firm that cares and having learned about Muckles’ charitable vision and community values, it was an easy decision to collaborate on this project. We’ve had huge help from Charlotte who has connected us with a wide range of contacts that will hugely benefit the trust moving forward.”
Muckle LLP’s dynamic Agriculture team acted as a corporate partner for the charity by calling upon their extensive network of clients to assist with the educational experience. The Country Trust was introduced to a variety of farming and banking businesses that the charity can utilise in its pursuit of reaching 125,000 children in 5 years with their high-quality learning experiences.
Muckle LLP has gathered a reputation for its extensive community work and support of local causes across the region. The firm has donated more than £560,000 in charitable grants to North East community projects since it set up its Muckle Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne and Wear & Northumberland.
Charlotte Patterson-Ryan, Senior Associate at Muckle LLP, said: “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Sue, John and The Country Trust team to deliver a wonderful, high-quality learning experience for the pupils of Mountfield.
“By calling upon our extensive network of clients, we were able to connect The Country Trust with John, alongside a variety of farming contacts and banking businesses, to make a real difference to their fantastic initiative.
“Muckle LLP takes immense pride in its North East roots and actively strives to use resources to make a real difference between charitable causes and communities across the region. I’m incredibly pleased that by building corporate connectivity and harbouring professional relationships, both Muckle LLP and The Country Trust have enjoyed mutual business benefits.”