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Visioning Day — Welcome message from Kari Halford, Farm Co-Director

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After almost a year of Advocacy Work carried out by members of our communities, staff members, advocates and trustees got together for a full day of visioning. As follows are the welcoming words from Kari to everyone on that very special day.

Welcome everyone and thank you for coming. Today is a really important day so it is great to see so many of you here — from longstanding staff members to newer members of the team, trustees, important stakeholders such as Leona, and of course, our community advocates.

Of course, there are some that are not here, and I thak all the Project Managers, Isabel and Ali that have done a brilliant job at running visioning sessions to ensure that their voice will be heard.

Today we are going to develop our new vision and objectives which is a really important task that requires everyone's input and ideas.

Our vision is the most important statement that we, as an organisation, can make.

Our vision is the future we intend to create.

It is the difference resulting from our work.

It is our ultimate destination and unites staff, trustees and stakeholders in our shared direction.

As coined by Joel A. Barker: “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”

The last time we worked on our vision was in early 2016.

The resulting statement was not perfect (or grammatically correct) however, it has been used to guide our work since then. I doubt anyone here could quote the current Vision word-for-word, however I imagine most people will feel familiar paraphrase of ‘ connecting people to land, nature and food’.

Needless to say, a lot has changed since 2016.

Internally:

Our staffing team has increased by 1/3

we fundraised and built the Connection Centre allowing us to increase the number of beneficiaries we work each year

and launched @Propagation Place offering a new social enterprise venture for the charity

More recently, we embarked on the Equity Project and the Community Advocacy project, both of which have offered significant insight and direction that puts Equity at the forefront of our work.

As a result, we now working with a number of partners such as Houria, Bristol Mind etc to ensure that we better serve marginalised communities.

Externally:

The Climate and Ecological crisis requires us to be braver, bolder and more focused at embedding sustainability in everything we do.

And of course, the global pandemic has affected everyone in our community. Despite the government reducing isolation guidelines, many people we seek to support are still in utter crisis.

Our services have been a lifeline to so many people. A quick glance around the room and you will see some quotes from beneficiaries and volunteers that show how important the Farm is to them.

Quotes from teachers and parents that demonstrate the difference our services make to the child they know.

With these changes and these beneficiaries in mind, it is time to create a vision that defines the difference we want to make. A vision that is the future that our community needs."

Kari Halford, St Werburghs City Farm Co-Director

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