Newsletter – May 2024

Welcome back to another instalment of the Island Community Haven CIC newsletter,

We want to start this newsletter by thanking everyone who has supported us financially, by volunteering and those who have shared our social media posts; all your support is appreciated.

Within this newsletter, you can expect to learn more about key dates for your calendar, animal care updates, general news, grant and fundraising updates, and our BOLO list (Be On The Lookout).

Before we start, please do consider following us on social media:

Events & Key Dates

Key dates to note:

Weekly animal welfare meetups: Sunday, 10 am start. Come along and feed, muck out and fuss our animals, no experience is required, just a can-do attitude.

Find out more here:

Community Allotment Gardening: The next 3 allotment meetup dates are:

  • May 26th at 11am
  • June 30th at 11am
  • July 21st at 11am

Meetups will be hosted monthly and the best way to keep up to date is to subscribe to our newsletter and follow on socials. Find out more here:

Summer Meetup: TBD

The team will be looking to organise a date in the summer holidays where the local community can come along and check in with their favourite animals whilst enjoying a slice of cake and good community! More details coming soon.

Animal Care Updates

Bumble Foot:

Fleetwood our rooster has had a particularly nasty case of bumblefoot and has required daily treatment over a period of a few weeks. Thankfully with our intervention, the infection has massively reduced and we’re working hard to remove any remaining infected areas.

Bumblefoot is a common bacterial and inflammatory infection that occurs in the feet of birds, rodents and rabbits. It can be caused by a small scratch, splinter or even an unfortunate landing when jumping down from their roost.

While we’re treating it with vetrimycin antibiotic spray, Fleetwood is treating it like a spa day! He’s ever so patiently enjoying his regular Epsom salt foot bath, maybe we’ll give him a pedicure next time too!

Thanks to all The Island Project learners and Haven Warriors who have supported staff in treating Fleetwood. We’re glad to say he’s finally on the mend!

Piggie Pancake Treats:

We’ve always supplemented our pigs food with coconut oil as the benefits are endless! Not only does coconut oil improve their overall health, it maintains healthy weight and promotes hair growth.

We decided to give our boys an extra special treat, cooking them pancakes in coconut oil.

Our learners used eggs and banana and a sprinkle of blueberries to create a tasty treat, and also learnt how to use a camping stove to cook with adult support!

We had so much fun making these treats in our gorgeous allotment garden in the sunshine and it’s safe to say Mr. Pig and Roderick enjoyed them too!

Fish Tank Maintenance:

Our learners have been working hard to clean and maintain our fish tank, and we get to embed some science too! Using a liquid test kit we were able to explore the different water parameters to ensure optimal fish health.

Following the water change and general clean, we were please to say that we found there to be 0ppm Ammonia, a toxic chemical formed from fish waste. Our pH level was 8.0 which is safe for fresh water fish, meaning that our water isn’t too acidic or alkaline and our Nitrite level was also 0ppm. Nitrite is also a harmful chemical derived from fish waste which can negatively impact fish respiratory health.

Not only are we happy in knowing our fish are happy and healthy, we really enjoyed the scientific aspect too. All of which just adds to fun of fish keeping!

Pig Accommodation Upgrades: (Taken from Facebook )

We are truly fortunate to be part of such an amazing community! 🌟
The Haven Team extends a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you who contributed to Sunday’s event. Every effort big or small, did not go unnoticed, and we are immensely grateful for your support. 🙏
A special shoutout to the Hall family for expertly running the café, a task they’ve handled for many years. We also want to thank the past Island Project students who helped spread the word and sell raffle tickets on the day, our dedicated animal care volunteers who braved the elements to ensure our animals were cared for, and the Island Project staff who organized activities for our visitors. 🍰🎟️🐾
Despite the pouring rain, we managed to collectively raise an incredible £1,277.44. These funds will make a significant difference in upgrading our pigs’ accommodation.
Here’s the breakdown of all donations towards upgrading our pig’s accommodation:
Online donations: £674
Donation buckets & café: £423.44
Island Project Students: £180
The Oaks Medical Centre: £452.96
💚 Grand total: £1,730.40
Thank you once again to everyone who supported us financially, volunteered their time, or helped spread the word on social media and with friends and family. 🐷💖
If you’d like to stay informed about our upcoming animal care meetups, allotment gardening meetups and other community gatherings please consider signing up for our newsletter: 📧

We are currently in the process of obtaining quotes from local farmers and construction companies. We’re hoping to have the work fully completed during the summer holidays and ready for September.

General News

With many of our animals being rescued we are constantly working hard to keep them in good health, but learning about past injuries at the same time. We take pride in knowing we give animals the best second chance to be loved and cared for by so many people here at the farm. We would like to honour the memories of:

Chickens – 5 chickens have passed away since January 2024, which led the our two male chickens fighting over the remaining hens. To help remedy this, we will be rescuing more chickens in the very near future, more information below.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Kardashi-Hens arrived 08.05.2022 (chickens)
  • Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter 06.06.2022 (chickens)
  • Colin & Geoff June 2020 (goats)

New Arrivals:

COMING SOON! The farm is rescuing 10 retired hybrid chickens through Fresh Start For Hens. We think they are battery hens who will be in bad shape like the last group of hens we had before (see pictures). Due to their age, these hens slowed their egg production and were on their way to the slaughterhouse, but not anymore! More information coming soon.

The Island Project Farming & Education Centre:

The Island Community Haven CIC works alongside The Island Project who are an alternative education provider for Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire. The Island Project supports the permanently excluded, the at risk of exclusion and vulnerable, challenging learners aged 9-18. 

National Gardening Week: (Taken from Facebook: )

Last week the RHS held its annual ‘National Gardening Week’ with a ‘knowledge of flower’ theme 👨‍🌾🌱
Here at the farm, growing in the allotment is at full speed! Students have been learning about different weeds and whether they should be composted, for example, we do not compost ragwort (poisonous) or bindweed (invasive).
✅ Learners are also learning about what plants in the allotment are safe for our animals to eat and why some are not safe ❌

Mental Health Awareness Week:

Let’s not forget the importance of mental health awareness as we nurture our connections with both animals and each other.

🌟 What an amazing session we had this morning exploring what our animals can eat!
🐾 Lots of learning took place as we dove into our chart, discovering what weeds our furry friends can safely eat.
🌿 It’s moments like these that truly make our sanctuary a special place. 🐇

Body Scrubs:

✨ Our hands were left feeling clean and incredibly soft after our session making body scrubs using ingredients found right in our garden!
🌿 Young people were amazed by the results of adding mint, lavender, and honey to the mixture. 😍
🍯 It’s wonderful to see the magic of nature come alive right here at The Island Project 🌸

Compost Building:

🌱 Our students have been hard at work over the past couple of weeks creating a compost area made entirely from recycled pallet wood.

🌿💚 They’ve not only learned how to make their own compost using animal waste and organic matter but also discovered the fascinating process of composting, including how long it takes and the importance of insects and worms in creating high-quality compost.

🐛🌟 It’s inspiring to see our young learners actively contributing to sustainability efforts and embracing the wonders of nature.

Fundraising Updates

We would like to thank several grant funders who have kindly supported us.

With the assistance of Foundation Derbyshire, we are excited to announce plans for an eco-friendly toilet to replace our aging portaloos. This initiative aligns with our commitment to sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and enhancing visitor experience at the farm.

Thank you to The Compost Toilet Company who are due to deliver our eco-toilet on May 30th.

Consider supporting our farm directly by browsing our Amazon Wishlist. Your contributions will directly impact our activities, ensuring that every purchase serves a meaningful purpose. Visit the wishlist here: Amazon Wishlist Link.


Be On the Look Out

Wood Chip – We’re always in need of woodchips that are safe for our animals and are in contact with local service, getting woodchips actually delivered is the hard part. Please do get in contact if someone you know can help us.

Kittens – We are looking for two new farm cats! Since Leo retired birds and rodents have had it easy at the farm with no deterrent for their food stealing and destructive behaviour in the allotment! Please get in touch if you know of anyone selling or looking to rehome a kitten.

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