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New Community Farm Shop opens

Community Action

Canford has a long standing community relationship with High Mead Farm a therapeutic farm in Longham near Wimborne.  Canford Sixth Formers spend time at the Farm on Monday afternoons throughout each school year and fundraise to support its valuable work offering a day service to members of the public living with mental health issues, physical disabilities, addiction, Alzheimer & dementia diagnosis, brain injury, vision & hearing impairment, autism, children excluded from school, Parkinson’s and learning difficulties. Recently The Friends of Canford School parent committee has been instrumental in the opening of the High Mead Farm Shop which launched on Thursday 22nd July 2021.

Chair of the Friends of Canford School, Tiffany Fleming, takes up the story:

“High Mead Farm has been operating for just over nine years and for eight of those years Mark Gregory has talked of opening a farm shop and reinstating an important community facility that previously existed on the site. The Bracken Group were instrumental in securing planning permission for the shop and the Ultra Group had gifted the shop shell, but the team were still a long way from realising Mark's dream.  I approached Travis Perkins who along with their local CCF Bournemouth branch kindly donated some of the materials required for the shop fit out, and as a committee we donated sufficient funds to complete the remainder of the work and secure the outstanding fixtures and fittings. Haskins and Beecroft Nurseries answered my request for brackets and hanging baskets, we rallied a dozen brand new volunteers (one of which is a current Canford pupil), and a wonderfully generous local businessman purchased a brand new till on our behalf.  The Angel, Longham, provided refreshments for the launch event, and half a dozen very clever local ladies knitted, crocheted and stitched beautiful bunting. Catherine Nix of My Scented Home, who facilitated the FCS Christmas Wreath Making Workshop,  displayed her work within the shop, adding an extra dimension to its offering.”

Cllr Kelly Webb, Mayor of Wimborne and Canford current parent, selected High Mead Farm as one of her charities this year, and was delighted to cut the ribbon and become the shop's first customer. 

Jo Legg, High Mead Farm's horticulturist, welcomed the farm's visitors and reminded all those present of the great work the farm does in enabling the Co-Farmers to work side by side with the staff and volunteers.

The shop has generated much excitement with the Co-Farmers and even prior to the launch we were receiving requests from Co-Farmers anxious for the chance to work within it. The Farm's neighbours have also welcomed its return.  It would be fair to say that the impact of this new facility at the farm will be far reaching and the support it has generated has reinvigorated and reenergised the team, and the Farm's friends and neighbours.   Mark Gregory is thrilled with the opening of the shop, and commented “We could not have realised this without The Friends of Canford School.”

Pictured are Canford current pupil Charlotte and former pupil Frances who have been volunteering at the shop since it opened.