Charity of the Year 2022 – Vana Trust Organic Farm

20 July 2022

Staff and volunteers at Waddesdon Manor and the Rothschild Foundation have chosen Vana Trust Organic Farm as the 2022 Charity of the year. Vana provides activities, work experience and support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues from the age of 14 years old.

In July 2003, the founder of the charity, Nyasha Gwatidzo moved to Yew Tree Farm in Buckinghamshire from Zimbabwe. In 2009, with her social work experience and after extensive research with local authorities and other charities, she decided to extend the Vana Trust educational programme to include an organic therapeutic farm project. The beautiful, small, mixed farm on the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire border provides an opportunity for trainees to gain a work ethic, purpose, a sense of belonging and feelings of accomplishment. The small friendly team gently nurtures, encourages and teaches trainees valuable life skills. Whilst at the farm, they raise chickens, ducks, sheep, goats and pigs. There is a kitchen garden and a polytunnel for growing organic fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Waddesdon and the Rothschild Foundation are pleased to support the project combining therapeutic support and organic, agricultural activity, aligning the strategic aims of the Foundation with the core work of the Waddesdon estate.


The Charity of the Year is nominated by Waddesdon Manor staff and volunteers and is not an open application programme.

Charity of the Year offers Waddesdon Manor staff and volunteers the opportunity to support a charitable cause in the local community. The successful charity is awarded a grant by the Rothschild Foundation with staff and volunteers joining events or volunteering opportunities across the year to ‘unlock’ the funding.

Staff and volunteers nominate charities which are;

– Within 30 miles of Waddesdon estate
– Provide benefit to the local community
– Work in the key areas of interest to the Rothschild Foundation and Waddesdon: arts and heritage, education, environment, or social welfare
– Support people as primary beneficiaries (rather than animals)