Our project already supported by Sport England, Enfield Council, Thames Water, National Lottery, and many others is building momentum. (Click HERE to see our appeal video- https://youtu.be/Xd1902dhFxM )
The hub building works are due to begin by the end of 2022. But we need your help as we are raising additional funds to help kit out the interior of the building to make it fit for our community.
Our order has been placed for the building but we are busy rasising further funds to kit it out.
What will this deliver for the community?
Promote Health & wellbeing, activity & leisure.
The hub will be located in a wetlands park environment: wildlife viewing windows, seating, DDA /cycle & woodland paths this alone encourages visitors to: – walk, jog, cycle, play table tennis, tennis, keep fit, join in sport activities, and just to be with family and friends enjoying the great outdoors and its many health benefits.
We will resume and expand our educational programmes and community events at Firs Farm including a summer festival, our famous Halloween activities and National Children’s Day, promote activity & leisure for both people with dementia and carers which will be of huge benefit due to its location and accessibility.
Encourage ALL carers, non-carers, the community, ALL users and potential users to participate in Firs Farms available exercise activities.
We will use the hub to advertise and hold regular activities including volunteering. In time we would like to extend this to include Sport memory, chair exercise classes, exercise for the over 50s and for all ages and abilities.
The facilities provided by the Hub will be pivotal in regenerating the under-used sports pitches adjacent to the wetlands & community hub. Supporting the Firs Farm Tennis courts. There is a shortage of facilities for the community in the local area.
Help us create a great space for the girls and the boys to play football, tennis and other team sports
Benefit the environment
A place to learn more about the importance of urban wetlands to our well-being and that of the planet. It will provide a platform from which we can share with the community the importance of looking after our environment i.e. the wetlands and wildlife habitats created in Firs Farm over the past 7 years.
Volunteers will be encouraged to support conservation works with the Friends in Firs Farm. Users will be encouraged to get involved with volunteering in Firs Farm and in supporting the creation of a much needed sensory / raised garden area for the benefit of dementia suffers and others to be stimulated and enjoy
Wherever possible we will encourage and use recycled materials for the creation of this community space for example furniture, flooring, paint, recycling as much waste from the community hub as possible.. In the 2nd phase of our project following on from creating the hub we will create a sensory garden, using recycled materials for the compost. We recycle as part of our conservation actions.
Volunteering / jobs /Skills / Training & equipment
The Friends currently run regular volunteering events with both corporate and community volunteers the hub / café will provide and increase suitable volunteering opportunities and skills enhancement
Provide and increase suitable volunteering opportunities and skills enhancement through the hub. The friends will organise and run various volunteering activities e.g. events, outdoor education, admin, practical conservation including clearing wetlands.
We see the addition of a defibrillator at the Hub a key piece of equipment. With this in mind we need to raise additional funds specifically for this and to train all our key volunteers in First Aid appropriate for the Hub and the outdoors.
This project will open up further volunteering opportunities to volunteers through assisting in the community hub itself. There is the potential for future jobs in the event an external organisation undertakes services to support the hub.
Education Firs Farm already boasts outdoor classroom & pond dipping area and equipment. The hub will provide a platform for learning and experiences to be shared with the community, educating
others of their finding in Firs Farm. It will also provide a space in which to create awareness of dementia, autism, and water flood relief and pollution as it will be nestled within the Firs Farm wetlands park environment.
Bring the community together.
Over the last 7 years we have organised a number of children/family activities including a wetlands launch fancy parade opened by the Mayor of Enfield in 2016 and another in 2018, annual events including (pre / post Covid) National Childrens Day, wetlands and rivers weeks event, Tree planting, tours for all including educational fun activities . The hub will be just that – a hub of activity. Accessed by all. A platform from which to encourage ALL in the community to explore outdoor activity & exercise.
Promote the benefits of bringing ALL the community together to ‘Get out & Get Active’ Promote civic pride, empower people and grow prosperity.
Boost the local economy
The hub will provide a boost to the local economy as it will encourage people to use Firs Farm and surrounding local businesses, instead of passing through Firs Lane to access the A10 / A406 as there will be facilities on site where previously there were none.
Our hub will also create a vibrant place for people to meet and for new friendships to blossom, creating connections between people, less isolation, people feel safer and more supported, people feel their voices are heard particularly when they sing in our Hub. This in turn will boost the economy as they will be happier locally and more prepared to spend locally supporting local groups and projects as we will have more opportunities for local business to get involved and to share with the community through exposure via the Firs Farm community Hub.
This indoor facility will include a multifunctional spaces for the community. The Café will serve fresh, locally sourced hot and cold food, drinks and refreshments. A welcoming place for people to meet up, with flexible community space that can be used for educational, fitness, social and other activities.
Events can be held that will raise additional funds to further improve the sustainability of Firs Farm.
‘Changing Places’ Essential facilities will be provided in the Changing Places Toilet (CPT)
The vision of the friends of Firs Farm is to bring all the community together and we can only do this by building upon our all-inclusive community café. Additional funding will allow us to install a CPT, without which we will be excluding a large part of our local community.
Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by Changing Places toilets. The facilities that we aim to include within the Changing Places toilet at Firs Farm are:
All members of the community would be able to use this facility. Due to its increased size and turning spaces, it will also be easily accessible for pushchairs as well as wheelchairs and provide dignity for those who require assistance.
How many people will benefit
Providing this facility can be life changing; this asset allows families to enjoy a full day out providing a calm and relaxing environment for everyone. We will be catering for the most vulnerable and disabled within the community. This will assist not only disabled users but parents and carers too.
The changing places toilet within firs farm would also enable the 4 SEN Schools within Enfield to utilise the space and outdoor education facilities provided here, much like many of our other schools within the borough. We would be removing a barrier to learning and socialising. This would also be advantages to the visiting out of Borough school groups that engage with outdoor education opportunities at Firs Farm.
The reach of the installation is somewhat infinite and would be open for the benefit of the entire Enfield community. Enfield has one of the highest population figures in London at 330,000 people (ONS2021). 10% of the British population currently provide unpaid care and with 12.8% of Enfield residents aged 65 and over this figure is set to rise. Providing a community facility which provides respite for everyone is surely of benefit to not only physical but mental wellbeing?
Why people should vote for our project
People should vote for us because we will be providing the only facility of this kind within a blue green space in the London Borough of Enfield.
We will be preventing social exclusion.
The facility will be based within the Firs Farm Wetlands open space and will provide a unique opportunity to take advantage of all that firs farm has to offer from access to an open space, wildlife, café nature, health and activities available at the site. This is a community accessible open space and without the support of the community we will not be able to achieve a fully inclusive year round community hub.
The project is supported by the whole community and the following companies, charities and organisations have provided letters of support: For example: Enfield Council officers and Cllrs, local MP, parents, Care homes and hospices.
What makes us proud of this project?
We are proud because this project is the vision of the community. We want to continue to build an all-inclusive environment, providing a changing places toilet within our community hub which will enable us to embrace everyone regardless of need; within a non-clinical, safe and welcoming environment.
Regenerating an underused area within a stunning wetlands, site of importance for nature conservation (SINC) and sports pitches
Firs Farm is now a beautiful space which boasts an array of wildlife, is accessible with its wonderful new paths and is loved and widely used by the community for numerous activities:
football, walking, cycling, jogging, running, health & well-being, education, recreation, and wildlife.
To see some of the changes, please click here.
Thank you for reading
Please hear what Gail has to say about this – Click here
HUGE thanks to everyone who has already contributed to this fantastic project and if you would like to get involved please get in touch – TODAY.
Contact the Friends on 07956 537 974