Sutton Community Farm is a community-owned farm in South London growing vegetables under organic principles.
Sutton Community Farm opened their farm in 2010 in response to a community need, with the purpose to increase access to fresh, healthy, sustainable food and provide a shared space for people to cultivate skills, get exercise and make friends. After welcoming over 140 members in their first share offer in 2015/16, they have been able to grow the success of their VegBox scheme which they built from scratch. However, to obtain financial sustainability and support themselves, they needed 400 customers, and more space for weighing, packing and storage.
Sutton Community Farm opened up their share offer once again to help them build a barn. A new barn on the premises would accommodate their VegBox needs and enable them to grow their customer-base, host more school groups, provide dedicated space for educational activities and also enable more volunteering opportunities to bring more people to the farm and benefit from all that they do, together.
Pledges/Shares ranged from a minimum shareholding of £30 and ran up to £6,000. Sutton Community Farm aims to pay interest on the shares from profits through programmes such as the VegBox scheme.
In 56 days the project raised £97,462 from over 400 investors meaning that the future for Sutton Community Farm is a bright one.
Sutton Community Farm now employs a small team that is supported by a large network of volunteers, who remain at the heart of the farm - so far, they have welcomed more than 3,000 volunteers. Striving to be an inclusive space for the community, shaped by the community, people visit the farm to share their skills, take a break, or simply because they love wholesome, local food.
The investors came from across the local community and from supporters of the organisation. The community share offer was listed on the Crowdfunder platform and was also supported by Power to Change’s Community Shares Booster Programme which matched every penny received.
Community shares are a truly social investment. They are an accessible form of participation for local communities to support and shape the organisations that are working to improve the place they call home. For Sutton Community Farm our successful share offer gave us a huge boost - in confidence, motivation and of course capital! We know that we have the support and participation of over 400 people who want us to succeed and continue to thrive. It's a huge comfort and source of strength”
Charlotte Steel, General Manager – Sutton Community Farm