The point of @SthDonegalBees is to promote the understanding of our #bees – so today in collaboration with @BlissberryFarm – South Donegal Beekeepers Association organised a talk/demo with Ireland’s leading expert Philip McCabe @RTERadio1 @MooneyShow here at Blissberry Social Farm Mouncharles.
The collaboration team are working towards encouraging greater awarness of the honey bee and hoping to increase participation in beekeeping here in South Donegal.
We welcome all who have an interest in beekeeping. We provide ‘INTRODUCTION SESSIONS’ and support at our Apiary – if you are just starting out, or if you want to exchange your views and experience.
If you are interested in bees, do get in touch @SthDonegalBees if you would like more information contact Derek Byrne or call into our monthly meetings 1st Tuesday of the month Church of Ireland Hall Donegal Town 8pm
Philip McCabe today at Blissberry Farm Mountcharles Co Donegal.
What a great article in yesterdays Irish Times 13-09-14 headed ‘Behind the News: Farm worker John Murphy – Irish farmers are helping people with intellectual disabilities and mental-health problems to find fulfilling work.
– link to article below
The insight of Jackie and Richard Moeran and John Murphy has highlighted another innovative and exciting prospect for Social Farming. John’s experience shows that Social Farming can also provide another pathway to education and employment in the agriculture sector.
The team at SoFAB, all the SoFAB pilot social farmers North and South are poised on the brink of exciting times. The SoFAB pilot social farmers are in the process of setting up a new Social Farming organisation and are committed to seeing Social Farming firmly established to provide support in the area of health & wellbeing, social inclusion and vocational career development in farming.
Link to article
Blissberry Farm Mountcharles is a working farm first with Blissberry Social Farm a ‘SOCIAL FARM’ in progress and just completed as a PILOT SOCIAL FARM with Social Farming Across Borders Programme (SoFAB) please revert to @lairdhse06 http://www.socialfarmingacrossborders.org for Blissberry Social Farm Profile & Activities 2013-14.
BLISSBERRY SOCIAL FARM
Blissberry Social Farm is a welcoming and friendly small holding environment, where we provide activities to encourage physical activity, and opportunities to develop self-esteem while giving an insight and experience of a rural way of life.
Blissberry Farm is a social farm, where combining care of the land with care of people, in a setting where they feel safe, respected and engaged in meaningful activity. A partnership between farmers, participants and health & social care agencies that develops people’s potential rather than focusing on their limitations.
Location and environment is ideal for people to benefit from being and particpating in the countryside, the natural environment, working with animals and involvement with associated development projects.
Get in touch with us details:
Where to find us: Munterneese Mountcharles Co.Donegal
Open by appointment
Blissberry Farm Mountcharles is a working farm first with Blissberry Social Farm a ‘SOCIAL FARM’ in progress and just completed as a pilot farm with Social Farming Across Borders Programme (SoFAB)
please revert to @lairdhse06 http://www.socialfarmingacrossborders.org for Blissberry Social Farm Profile & Activity 2013-14.
Social Farming I believe is a form of diversification for farmers and their families. These farms help promote mental as well as physical health and wellbeing. As Social Farmers we work with a wide variety of participants, by performing tasks such as looking after animals or tending vegetables, social farms like Blissberry also helps people to reconnect with nature (ECOTHERAPY – Conservation Green Gym in the Woodlands) and their communities which in turn offers them a pathway towards recovery, progression and social inclusion. They also offer the opportunity to develop a wide range of ‘green’ technical and life skills which can improve life and possible positive pathways to a better quality of life.
The conference attracted a wide range of stakeholders including the farming community; representatives of health and social services, rural development agency representatives as well the departments and agencies responsible for rural development in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Brian Smyth, Deputy CEO of Leitrim Development Company, who chaired the afternoon workshop session said that “Social farming was really good example of community inclusion which meets all of the requirements & value of New Directions*”
*New Directions is the HSE policy for non-residential supports (day services) to adults with a disability.
According to New Directions, these supports should be individualised outcome-focussed supports, which will enable adults with a disability to live a life of their choosing in their community, in accordance with their own wishes.
Dr Jim Kinsella (Project Manager UCD) commented that: ‘the SoFAB Project has been very successful in raising awareness, learning lessons, training people and paving the way for social farming in Ireland and Northern Ireland’. He was adamant that: ‘the future of social farming lay in converting the interest of the Health Trusts and the Health Services Executive into contracted services with farmers that have the potential to offer thousands of people the opportunity to avail of social farming in years to come’ and he added that ‘the social farming services piloted for over a year on 20 farms showed that these were cost effective when compared to existing day care services’.
Research gathered during the project was presented by Aoibéann Walsh from QUB who demonstrated that the benefits of the initiative had helped a broad range of vulnerable people suffering from mental health problems and learning disabilities though engaging in the day to day tasks associated with farming at first hand. “It demonstrates that social farming has the potential to make a difference to the lives of so many people whether it is someone recovering from illness or a farm family opening their doors to a new diversification opportunity”.