Lucky Ewe is a Scottish charity based in North East Fife. We rent land at a smallholding near New Gilston for our small flock of dairy sheep with additional grazing at Cuparmuir and Springfield.
• Lucky Ewe aims to give people with additional support needs of any kind the chance to experience farming, animal husbandry and food production at a pre-entry level.
• We welcome people of all abilities and backgrounds: our placements aim to build skills and experience at Lucky Ewe to help them progress towards employment.
• The outdoors and working with animals have been proven to enhance mental well-being and to bring a sense of peace and purpose: our placements hope to achieve that for beneficiaries and volunteers.
Currently communities in Scotland are experiencing severe economic pressure and deterioration in wellbeing because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rehabilitation and regeneration are needed now, and in the future, to help communities to recover.
Lucky Ewe offers a path to a new job, volunteering opportunities and beneficial placements for those in need in the community.
We aim to secure permanent premises at NHS Stratheden through community asset transfer. This will allow us to increase the Lucky Ewe flock and in the longer term to produce other food crops – eggs, honey, hard and soft fruits and vegetables – each with its own potential for training and work experience placements.
Volunteers start by getting ready for the work ahead. We put on gloves, over trousers, wellie boots and rainwear. We need to be warm and comfortable on the farm.
The tasks for the day are planned. It might be feeding and weighing lambs, or repairing the stock tunnel. We have a bit of choice.
Sometimes we send the ewes through the footbath (which they don’t really like, but it keeps their feet healthy).
There is usually mucking out to do, and often the electric fencing needs moved, so the sheep get fresh grass which they really appreciate.
We pull up or scythe weeds, prune and mulch the young trees and dig out ditches. Sometimes we improve habitat by planting, by building bird and bat boxes, and laying hedges.
All the while we are in the fresh air, enjoying the birdsong, the breezes, taking in the beautiful views and having a natter. We make time for a break and talk about what we have learned and achieved that day.
At certain times there is also the possibility of helping in the cheese room, but that is for one helper only. It is indoors, and to make good cheese, you need to take lot of care. So, it is not for everyone.
We have a supply of good quality fleeces every year and so there is always the potential for all sorts of crafting and creating with wool.
Lucky Ewe depends on its volunteers, people who generally want to spend time outside, work on the land and help others build up their confidence and skills.
Volunteers usually choose to come along once a week for a session of about 3 hours. Tasks include feeding the sheep, putting up fences and clearing a field of thistles
Volunteers can also support Lucky Ewe by carrying out more office-type tasks for the charity. Some volunteers are keen to get more fully involved in Lucky Ewe (SCIO 050034) and put themselves forward as Charity Trustees.
In general Trustees would expect to give 4 hours of their valuable time each month to the charity. This breaks down, roughly, into half an hour of preparation, then 1.5 hours in the Trustees’ meeting (currently via Zoom) and perhaps 2 hours for each Trustee to follow through on their action points. Trustee training and support will be available from Fife Voluntary Action.
Lucky Ewe is keen to recruit new volunteers. The outdoor work is very enjoyable. As one old hand noted, “My Tuesday morning is a lifeline for me – coming here keeps me sane”. And there really is a lot of scope for individuals who want to make a difference. They can get involved and develop new ways of carrying the charity forward.
Check out Lucky Ewe constitution to see if you want to sign up to our aims. Interested in volunteering? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucky Ewe actively seeks grants and is always grateful for donations. These help us to expand the number of people we can involve and support.
We have, at November 2020, been fortunate to secure grants from the Community Response Recovery and Resilience Fund, from the National Lottery Community Fund and from Comic Relief. We have also received generous private donations totalling £900.
Also, if you shop at the Coop anywhere in UK, you can choose Lucky Ewe as your charity, till October 2021. Your points then add up and convert to funding for Lucky Ewe (‘every mickle makes a muckle’ as they say).
If you would like to make a donation, you can make a donatation to the following bank account:
Account name: Lucky Ewe
Sort code: 08-92-99
Account number: 65966215
We would be extremely grateful for any donations, no matter how small.
Registered Charity: SCIO 050034
15 Ceres Road, Cupar, Fife, KY15 5JT