Crimsham Farm in Pagham is no ordinary farm – by a long shot. It’s a story that slightly blew us away. We think it’s well worth telling and we hope you will want to support them once you’ve read it.
Crimsham Farm is a Community Interest Company set up by army veterans Craig Pinkney and Shane Glasspool. Shane is now a chef at The Crab and Lobster in Sidlesham and set up the farm in his spare time. The motivation came when they lost a fellow veteran and friend to suicide. Craig and Shane wanted to create a place that would support ex-service men and women locally, somewhere they could unwind or seek help. So, they found some unused land, made an agreement with the landowner and started to keep pigs and other animals.
But the idea got bigger. With Craig’s grown up son Conor being on the autistic spectrum, they soon realised that the farm could have value for many other groups of people too, people like Conor, with special educational needs. Conor is now happily employed on the management team and, pre-Covd19, the farm ran several successful community clubs, all for free. Its most popular was the Pig-Keeping Club which gave people the chance to interact with the animals.
Plans for the future include a new birds of prey centre and a more extensive range of animals for people to interact with.
Pivoting to help the community
The lockdown happened just as the farm was about to embark on educational contracts with local schools. After all the work setting it up, it was a big blow. But looking around them, they realised there were new challenges in their community.
The team adapted quickly, switching operations to food delivery. The farm now supplies groceries and baked goods to customers around Chichester and Bognor Regis. In the last month, it has delivered more than 3,500 food boxes and 200 households are using the service on a repeat basis. Collaboration has been at the heart of it, working with Munneries wholesale, Splits Bakery in the Witterings and lots of other small businesses.
And throughout the crisis, Crimsham Farm has maintained their focus on the vulnerable. It is now a HUB for West Sussex, referring those most in need to the Council for action and it has provided free food for those struggling to get Universal Credit. The intention is to fund other community enterprises with the money made from fruit and veg sales.
The challenge now
The challenge right now is funding because the demand for welfare packages is greater than that for regular orders. If you would like to support this impressive team, they accept monetary donations but you can also help simply by buying their wonderful goods. We think it’s pretty worthwhile. And we’re so pleased to be able to help promote them via Chichester At Home.
Shane told us: “Without groups like Chichester At Home, we would not have been able to achieve what we have done so far! Big thank you!!!!”