Care-Farming at Glottenham

Rooted in raw materials provided by nature in abundance - fresh air, brown earth and human kindness - the seeds of a revolution in the way we care for society's most vulnerable individuals is taking shape in our farms and fields. Care farming already touches the lives of thousands of people, from providing meaningful work for people with learning disabilities or mental health issues, to those with a history of substance addiction, through to being a source of confidence and inspiration for young adults from deprived urban communities.  And if the experience of the Netherlands is anything to go by, care farming is set to have a big impact in the UK.
 
Care farming uses farming practices to provide opportunities for structured care - therapy, education and rehabilitation - to some of society's most vulnerable groups of people. While it's a relatively new term and not yet widely recognised in the UK, its effectiveness has been proved in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe, where a network of over two thousand care farms has flourished over the last decade. Care farming's gathering momentum over here too, with around 150 farms providing care for around 6,000 adults and young people each week.
Care farming covers a wide range of agricultural settings, from smallholdings and community farms providing day care, to whole communities where able bodied and disabled people live and work together. Likewise they care for a broad group of people, including those with mental health problems, physical or learning disabilities, a history of drug or alcohol addiction, and young people at risk of social exclusion.
 
While the rural setting provides the therapeutic environment, there's a lot more to care farming than just turning up and mucking in. Care farms provide a supervised, structured programme of activities including elements such as animal husbandry, crop and vegetable production, woodland management, and are often commissioned by agencies such as social services and health care trusts.
 
There's something deeply intuitive about caring for the individual through care for the land. Many of us have experienced the therapeutic value of a few hours in the garden after a hard day's work, or how a quick walk in the woods can help counter the stresses of modern, industrialised life. So it's not surprising that care farming is proving to be very effective.
 
Research commissioned by the National Care Farming Initiative (NCFI), the national voice for care farms in the UK, found clients experiencing significant improvements to physical health, self-esteem, well-being and self-confidence. Care farming clients also have the practical benefits of gaining farming skills and the experience of structured working as part of a team.
 
At Glottenham, Care Farming is supported by our Higher Level Stewardship Access Provision, and we have been recognised as being able to provide tailored care Farming packages for many different client groups. We have staff qualified in delivering Care Farming, full insurance and CRB checks.

If you have a group who would be interested in finding out more about Care Farming at Glottenham, then please get in touch so we can discuss your needs.