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A day on the farm in the heart of East London

PUBLISHED: 15:34 01 October 2012

Ruby James, 4,  is one of the few people who have ridden our donkeys, George (pictured) and Dunstan, as part of their socialisation training

Ruby James, 4, is one of the few people who have ridden our donkeys, George (pictured) and Dunstan, as part of their socialisation training

Archant

Stepney City Farm has represented a haven of rural life in the heart of the East End for more than 30 years, and a day spent there shows it continues to thrive as a working farm.

It is a valuable microcosm of the countryside, and plays a crucial role in educating children and allowing people respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Now operating as a charity, the farm offers activities for people of all ages, from school visits to the vastly popular allotments, for which there is a waiting list of more than 150 people.

Jessica Hodge, the farm’s manager, is one of seven staff employed since it gained charitable status in 2009.

She said: “It aims to breathe rural life into the heart of the East End. It is an oasis in a built-up, crowded and deprived area: a welcoming green space and respite from urban living.”

As well as opening for free six days each week, the farm runs volunteer schemes which aim to engage members of the local community from all backgrounds, regardless of their background.

It raises revenue from selling produce as well as through charitable donations, relying on donations from supporters to continue to function and offer its full range of services to people of all backgrounds in East London.

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