Posted 14 July 2022


Vana Trust Organic Farm is named Waddesdon’s Charity of the Year 2022

Vana Trust Organic Farm, which provides activities, work experience and support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues, has been chosen by staff and volunteers at Waddesdon Manor and the Rothschild Foundation as our official Charity of the Year for 2022.

Vana Trust Organic Farm trainees harvesting potatoes
Vana Trust Organic Farm trainees harvesting potatoes

Founded in 2009, the charity operates from a small mixed farm on the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire border. It encourages vulnerable people, from 14-years old and upwards, to get involved with the day-to-day running of the farm, with the aim of improving physical and mental health by helping trainees develop valuable life skills, make friends and build confidence.

Activities and work experience include tending animals, looking after the land and growing organic produce that is used in the working kitchen and tearoom—which also hosts craft workshops, lunch clubs and cooking classes to help further develop practical skills. It is through these hands-on opportunities that the dedicated team gently nurture and celebrate individual achievement, foster social inclusion and empower young and vulnerable people to reach their potential.

As the winning charity, Vana Trust Organic Farm will receive a donation from the Rothschild Foundation, a grant-making charity based at Waddesdon benefiting Buckinghamshire communities, as well as support from staff and volunteers at fundraising events. At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health support, this partnership will help direct more people towards the therapeutic farm’s services and support their work throughout the coming year.

Vana Trust Organic Farm trainee holding a chicken
Vana Trust Organic Farm trainee

David Terrace, Grants Manager at the Rothschild Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Vana Trust Organic Farm this year. We know the value of providing a safe and therapeutic space for people to learn new skills and improve their wellbeing, and we will support the charity to help more people through funding and awareness raising.”

Nyasha Gwatidzo Founder and Trustee of Vana Trust, said: “Vana Trust are honoured and proud to have been chosen as the Charity of the Year by the Staff and Volunteers at Waddesdon Manor and the Rothschild Foundation. We are looking forward to being able to help even more vulnerable people gain confidence and skills as a result of this partnership.”

Vana Trust Organic Farm has already helped over 100 young people in the local area, and is hoping to further expand its support through social prescribing work with GPs, social workers and other charities.

Vana Trust Organic Farm logo