Residents in London’s East End got together in 1979 to set up a community farm here on a derelict site bombed in World War II.
By 2009 the site fell into disrepair and faced closure. A new charity – Stepney City Farm – made up of local residents who tirelessly volunteered their time, effort and creativity. Work by people from all ages and backgrounds has brought about an increase in the number of paid staff who have in turn been able to generate change through their leadership and skill.
In three years we have more than tripled turnover and staff numbers. We’re able to stay open for free six days a week. Although we still depend on funding – which keeps us going for only a couple of years at a time – these days the Farm is much more stable.
Hundreds of people joined us in the summer of 2012 for a wonderful launch event with the Mayor of Tower Hamlets and Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushara Ali after the signing of a ten-year lease: the first lease granted to our charity. We’re very much here to stay.