Rural centre in appeal for volunteers to help grow range of services

Rainbow Rural often holds fun days for families, such as this one last year. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Rainbow Rural often holds fun days for families, such as this one last year. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Archant

A farm which provides activities for disabled and vulnerable people, as well as community groups, is looking for volunteers to boost their fundraising efforts.

Rainbow Rural Centre, in Barnston, would like to expand the support and activities on offer as well as its facilities, but needs more volunteers and funding to make it happen.

Carol Monk, owner and director of the community interest company, said: "Rainbow Rural has achieved so much in the last 10 years, and grown from a small family run farm supporting two local special needs schools, to a not for profit community interest company, having supported five special needs schools and colleges, farm clubs and school children during holidays.

"We started running the care farm, now called social farms and gardens, with just family and volunteers, and now we employ five staff, and have five volunteers.

"We continue to listen to our visitors and their families, and we try and find new ways of adding that little special element of 'fun and learning'. We continue to use the land to support equine assisted learning, horticulture, environmental studies, animal care, woodwork and basic motor care. We plan for everyday and every visitor."

At present Carol, her son, and volunteers apply for grants and look for ways to raise funds on an ad-hoc basis, due to the many demands of running the farm. However, Carol would like to create a separate charity with a dedicated committee that would raise funds by applying for grants and work with the community. She is keen to hear from people with backgrounds in fundraising, education, health, social care, farming, special needs, animal care, horticulture, building and woodwork.

"It is a long list, but that is because we are working within all these areas, but would like to do more," Carol said.

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If you are interested in helping, e-mail Carol on

Rainbow Rural are hosting a fun day on August 18, with tractor trailer rides, a chariot race, traditional games, craft stalls, refreshments and a chance to meet the animals. 11am-4pm, free entry, at High Easter Road, Barnston. CM6 1ND.