The Growth and development of Care Farming in the UK Rev. Dr. Gordon Gatward OBE Care Farming UK
What it is : • ‘Care farming uses commercial farms, woodlands and market gardens to promote mental and physical health through normal farming and land based activities’ • ‘Care farming is a partnership between farmers, participants and health and social care agencies’ “Combining care of the Land with Care of People”
Care Farming in the UK : • The National Care Farming Initiative (NCFI) • came out of the UK’s first national care farming conference in Nov. 2005 • Drew on wider Care Farming models and experience • especially Holland (NB Continued links across Europe) • Care Farming UK - new national charity - launched 2011 • BUT : THE THERAPEUTIC USE OF FARMING HAS BEEN KNOWN FOR CENTURIES!
‘Prisons, hospitals, monasteries and churches have historically been associated with having different outdoor therapeutic spaces.’ ‘Beyond Toxicity. Human health and the natural environment’ Frumkin 2001 ‘It is impossible to dismiss the subject of asylum farms without some reference to the way in which they contribute to the mental health of the inmates’ Report of the Commissioners of the Scottish Board of Lunacy 1881’
Care Farming works : ‘Care Farming in the UK : Evidence and Opportunities’ Hine, Peacock, Pretty 2008
Range of ‘care’ provided : : Healthcare Provides: treatment, therapy, specific interventions Partnerships: Primary Care Trusts, Mental health teams, Social Services, Drug and alcohol treatment organisations, other health focused organisations Social rehabilitation Provides: Social Rehabilitation, reconnection to community, life skills Partnerships: drug and alcohol rehabilitation bodies, Probation Service, NOMS /Youth Offending teams, refugee & other organisations CARE Education Provides: Alternative education, facilities for special needs, opportunities for disaffected young people Partnerships: Pupil Referral Units, schools, other education organisations Employment Provides: Support for vulnerable people, farming/ land management skills, work training, sheltered work Partnerships: adult learning/ training organisations, drug and alcohol rehabilitation bodies, Probation Service, NOMS /Youth Offending teams, other sheltered employment schemes ‘Green Care: A conceptual Framework’ Sempick, Hine, Wilcox COST 2010
Range of Care Farms : Range of different care farm types Care healthcare, social rehabilitation, education Farming Production With a range of characteristics Farm often linked to external institution or charity Farm stays as farm Clients more separate from farming system Clients part of farming system Clients less independent Clients more independent Care main income into project Farming production main income Larger numbers of clients Smaller number of clients Therapy focus Therapeutic Not necessarily rural Rural Manager is carer Manager is farmer ‘Care Farming in the UK : Evidence and Opportunities’ Hine, Peacock, Pretty 2008
Care Farming UK : • Is a charity and Company limited by guarantee • - 12 directors (incl. 7 care farmers) • - Staffed by an Executive Officer plus pt. time assistant • - Currently funded by Grant Making Trusts • TO • Develop evidence/research base • - (eg current Cost Benefit research initiative with Bulmer Foundation and CFWM) • Engage with policy makers, potential practitioners and service purchasers/commissioners to promote care farming: • Support and resource current network of c.200 care farmers through: • - National conference, networking days, seminars and conferences, newsletter, Website, etc.
Care Farming UK current work: Includes: • Ongoing : network support, research programme and working with government, commissioners, etc. • Supporting a growing network of national, regional and county groups • Currently 9 such groups (NB Consultation June 2012) • Offering a new membership package (launching summer 2012) • Benefits include website entry for farms, case studies, Ebulletins, newsletters, quality standards, training courses, etc. • Developing accreditation scheme and quality standards for care farmers - Seminar held May 2012 - Quality standards committee being formed
Care Farming – lessons learnt: • There isn’t one ‘right’ Care Farming model • The range and diversity of models is Care Farming’s strength • What is right is what is right for the particular farm, farmer, client group, commissioner, etc • But is also its potential weakness • Difficult to present a ‘common theme’ or a single message • Networks provide opportunity for co-operation and mutual support • Important part of National, Regional and County groups’ and especially Care Farming UK’s role • Care farming requires a degree of altruism and a passion for the concept/vision – and the people!
CARE FARMING UK • AGM & National Conference London • Nov 18/19th. 2012 Care Farming UK Registered Office c/o Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire TF10 8NB 01952 815335 firstname.lastname@example.org Charity number 1147064 Company Limited by Guarantee 7632664