The Fold Care Farm provides therapeutic, land based activities to adults with a range of support needs, including learning disabilities, mental health issues and acquired brain injury. We also offer provision for young people accessing alternative education provision.
People who come to our Care Farm take part in all aspects of organic horticulture, from composting, to sowing seeds, to harvesting crops. We also take care of our flock of laying hens, and our two beehives. We create a variety of crafts using natural materials such as constructing bird boxes and bee hotels. We also love to cook and preserve (and eat!) produce grown on the farm.
Our Care Farm offers the opportunity to build relationships with others, learn new skills (including the opportunity to work towards accredited qualifications), take part in gentle physical exercise, connect with the natural world and work towards a shared goal. All of these contribute towards a improved well being and self esteem and reduce social isolation.
We needed to temporarily close our Care Farm provision due to the Coronavirus pandemic in March and we have now begun a phased re-opening. We are seeking funding to help us build up to offering our full provision whilst safeguarding the physical and mental well being of our participants.
Our Care Farm has one employed person and relies on our team of dedicated volunteers to provide support to our participants. A number of our volunteers are unable to return to the Care Farm at this point as they are clinically vulnerable to Covid-19. We are therefore seeking funding to enable us to employ a second person on our Care Farm so that we are able to offer our full three days of provision.
We would also like to use any funding we receive to purchase resources to enable us to have indoor activities during the winter months that participants can take part in whilst maintaining social distance. We have a newly refurbished preserving kitchen, which we hope to use for processing and preserving 'gluts' of farm produce, for example using the green tomatoes that haven't ripened at the end of the season to make chutney. We would like to purchase preserving equipment and PPE such as aprons and hats that will enable our participants to learn new skills in processing the food they have grown.
We would also like to offer first aid and mental health first aid training to our volunteers. Through equipping our volunteers with first aid training we will be more able to work in smaller 'satellite' groups across our site to make social distancing easier. Each group would be able to have a trained first aider on hand should an incident arise. We would also like to offer mental health first aid training to give our volunteers increased confidence in supporting our participants mental health, which we know has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Thank you so much for any support you are able to offer, our participants, along with the parents and carers have told us about the difference coming to our Care Farm has on their lives;
"I enjoy getting out and enjoying the fresh air, working on the farm, learning new things, mixing with other and it benefits my mental health." - participant
"I was amazed by how relaxed the students and staff are and the variety of activities that the students can take part in… The members of the staff that I spent time with had a very extensive knowledge on the student they were working with and they were able to set suitable tasks that kept the students engaged." – The Bridge Training Centre
“He always comes home happy from the Fold, he will tell us what he has been doing during the day and has been benefitting from all the fresh air and the different tasks he has under taken” –parent