Five simple steps to improve mental wellbeing through #socialfarming

#Connect #Be active #Learn #Take notice #Give

So here are five ways to improve well being through Social Farming:

  1. Connect with nature and the land … Be active with on farm ‘everyday farming activities’ … Learn new skills and join in on looking after the animals … Give to others build new social networks by helping

Summer 2011 067 

and supporting with others … Take notice be more aware of the present moment, including your feelings and thoughts, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”, and it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Learn more in Awareness for mental wellbeing at our weekly ‘Grounded in Nature’ session.
All this and more with Social Farming!

So now – what’s this Social Farming concept all about?

Social farming today (sometimes called ‘Green care in agriculture’, ‘farming for health’ or ‘care farming’) is defined as the use of farms and agricultural landscapes as a base for promoting mental and physical health.

Simply put Social Farming describes a range of therapeutic, farm based activities which help deliver a positive rural experience. 

Farm based activities vary but might include collecting eggs, feeding and watering livestock, mucking out, tending to crops in a raised bed or Polytunnel, mending fences or simply participating in a guided nature walk.

Social Farming helps develop the potential in people by looking at what they can achieve rather than what their disability or illness might restrict them to.

Activities not only build practical skills but also help people gain confidence, develop social skills and foster a sense of achievement as well as making a connection with nature.

No two Social Farms are the same.

Each Social Farm is different not only in size and what is offered but also in the groups or individuals they cater for.

For example, activities may be aimed at those experiencing a range of mental health issues such as depression or stress; people recovering from drug or alcohol abuse or perhaps adults and young people with physical disabilities.

Each Social Farm has the ability to offer a personalised service dependent upon the nature of the farm and the level of independence and confidence of the participants.

Social Farms like Blissberry helps people to reconnect with the land and nature and their communities which in turn offers them a pathway towards recovery, progression and social inclusion.

Social Farms also offer on a ‘working farm’ 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.

Three fundamental ingredients make social farming so successful: the connection with the land and nature, the connection with other people and the connection with meaningful work and a healthy daily structure.

People experiencing mental health issues or depression find themselves with negative thought spirals that engender low confidence and low self-esteem. Stepping out of their front door into the wider world is often challenging, but knowing that they are going to spend a day working in the natural environment on a working farm with people who understand their difficulties can significantly support their healing process.

Participants on the social farm do not feel they are ‘in therapy’ but rather they are simply making friends and doing something useful for society in the form of providing care for animals, the environment and providing healthy, nutritious food.

Larry Masterson
Blissberry Social Farm
Mountcharles
Co Donegal

Advertisements

bee friendly bees friendly Beekeepers @BlissberryFarm @SthDonegalBees Apiary at Blissberry Social Farm with Philip McCabe @RTERadio1 @MooneyShow

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.

IMG_3097.JPG

Thinking Outside the Field!

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
http://t.co/pY41RrfE0F

IMG_2940.JPG

A SOCIAL FARM IN PROGRESS …

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:

Tel 0877642917
Email blissberrysocialfarm@gmail.com
Where to find us: Munterneese Mountcharles Co.Donegal

Open by appointment

IMG_2175.JPG

BLISSBERRY FARM MOUNTCHARLES @blissberryfarm – Pathway towards recovery, progression and social inclusion #socialfarming and SoFAB @lairdhse06

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.

IMG_2944.JPG

Social Farming sits well with New Directions HSE Policy – Brian Smyth

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.

IMG_2931.JPG

“Social farming services piloted for over a year on 20 farms showed that these were cost effective when compared to existing day care services” – Dr.Jim Kinsella (SoFAB Project Manager & UCD) Belfast Conference

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’.