KIDS COUNTRY 2023 – and beyond…
Kids Country hit its 10th anniversary in 2022 and the highlight of the year was our Food and Farming Day. Thousands of happy faces at the showground once again. Now it’s time to pull back the curtain on Kids Country’s plans for the coming year and beyond.
Over the last 10 years the KC team has devised and delivered a whole range of half day events and activities around a food and farming theme. Many have been based at the showground and others have seen the KC team visit schools. Thousands of children have grown potatoes, learned about poultry, apples and more. Schools around the Eastern region have been visited by tractors and the Breakfast Team.
Over time we have listened and watched. Gently tweaking and adjusting our programme. Aware of the ever-increasing challenge for schools to source and pay for coaches and the challenges for the food industry to be able to turn up on one particular day for our Food and Farming Day.
Since the hiatus caused by Covid, we have seen a steady decline in the number of schools attending the Food and Farming Day at the showground. This has been due to several factors including the increasing cost of transport and limitations on the hours of the school day as well as other financial and logistical constraints. The tremendous level of support from exhibitors and sponsors has been maintained, thanks to the efforts of Sandra and others, for which we are extremely grateful.
As the sale of the Peterborough showground moves forward, SGS has decided to cease all large outdoor events from July 2023 which means that we will be unable to host the usual programme of Society activities including the 2023 Kids Country Food and Farming day at the showground. We have therefore decided that now is the time to accelerate our planning for change and that in turn means (so very sadly) that there is no opportunity to include an FFD into the programme.
So, what are the changes? Well, the Kids Country committee were aware of these issues, so over the last three years they have been developing plans to change our educational activities and we now propose to deliver our programmes at individual school sites. We have listened to schools and will be delivering far more food and farming activities at our supporting schools. Many have benefitted from this over the last few years and those schools now have an established system for the Kids Country team to turn up, deliver, clean up and go. We are aiming to develop those relationships and are also actively seeking partnering schools who want to be involved in a year-round programme of activities developed to fulfil curriculum needs and at times and locations that work to best effect – for the most part at schools. The team will also be increasingly seen out and about at food and farming events and locations sharing their own resources, style and knowledge around the region.
The Trustee Board has agreed an allocation of funds to support the change of direction for Kids Country and during the coming months, we will start to implement the changes. Initially, we will purchase a suitable vehicle to transport the people and materials to sites across the region including the ‘hard-to-reach’ schools that have not been able to physically attend the events at the showground. We also plan to invest in new technology and will continue to partner with our network of supporters. In the longer term, we will develop a learning hub at the Society’s new rural home.
Understandably people will be sad to see the end of the Food and Farming Day, but early indications are positive and we firmly believe that this initiative will continue to grow as more and more schools become involved, so Kids Country does have a very bright future to look forward to.
We hope you will want to benefit from all that Kids Country has to offer. To learn more or to get signed up for events while capacity remains, contact firstname.lastname@example.org 01733 961024