Thank you to Bex, Manager is Care Farm Manager at Fordhall Farm, she share with us about their work.
The Fordhall Community Land Initiative has been running a Care Farm since September 2015 having initially worked closely with the Wayfarers group in Market Drayton to enable adults with learning difficulties to come to the farm and experience the community at Fordhall.
Some of you may be asking what is a Care Farm, so here is the official definition from the Care Farming organisation that provides a voice and support for care farmers.
“A Care farm provides health, social and educational care services through supervised, structured programmes of farming-related activities for a wide range of vulnerable people (Care Farming UK 2014).”
At Fordhall we are able to offer a wide variety of opportunities for adults with learning difficulties who wish to experience working outside in a range of settings.
We grow, cook and eat produce from raised beds in the community garden, help with conservation work on the farm, enjoy walks in the woodland and creatively engage in a variety of activities 48 weeks of the year.
We work to help build people’s self-esteem, their communication skills and a sense of place and belonging within the community.
The atmosphere at Fordhall is relaxed and informal and anyone coming to the sessions is seen as being part of the team, helping and contributing to create a welcoming and enjoyable place to visit.
Primarily the group works in the community garden where we grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. We plan what to grow each year and everyone is involved in sowing seeds, weeding, helping to grow the plants and harvesting them.
Food that we grow is taken home by anyone who helps in the garden. We also have regular outdoor cooking sessions when we get to cook and eat the wonderful produce grown and surplus is used to make chutneys and jams to sell in the farm shop. Our wonderful clay oven is fired up to make great pizzas which everyone enjoys.
Our group also has time to stretch their legs and go for a walk; a favourite is down to the woods to sit on the bench and look out across the Tern valley, an opportunity to take in the scenery and enjoy the peace of the woods.
We have noticed since people have been coming to the Care Farm group that they are fitter and healthier as a result of being outside, working on the farm.
Here are some observations we thought you might like to read,
MrsT wrote to us recently….
“ PT really enjoys coming to the farm; every Tuesday he gets his bag ready for the next day, I don’t know what you are doing that is different but long may it last”
Her son has struggled to attend other services but each time he arrives at Fordhall he is grinning from ear to ear!
CF enjoys making chutneys and jams and makes sure everything is tidied up and put away at the end of our cooking session.
“I like to feed the pigs, it was lovely.” RL
Some background information about the sessions:
This is a chargeable service and support is given to each individual from fully trained and experienced staff.
We currently run a service one day a week, on a Wednesday from between 9 am and 4pm, and we are now looking to expand the service to a Thursday as more people want to come and join us.
Light refreshments are provided but not lunch.
If you are aware of somebody interested in attending our sessions, please call:
Bex Syrett our care farm manager.
As Bex is freelance it is best to contact her by phone: 07875 742 522 (please, not on a Wednesday) or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and she will arrange an initial visit and taster session them.
If you would like to visit Fordhall just to have a look around, we are open everyday except Monday and there is no entry charge. Our website is www.fordhallfarm.com
And to find out more about care farms go to www.carefarminguk.org.