Staff at Wildgoose Care Farm have been deeply involved with the broader regional and national development of care farming as a practice. We can provide awareness raising, development expertise and relevant connections to projects, farms, organisations and groups seeking to gain the benefits that care farming offers. Wildgoose Care Farm offers a breadth of service right from experiential training opportunities for potential care farmers on one of the leading care farms in the UK, right through to strategic presentations and service development for those responsible for social care innovation and delivery.
Those who could benefit from this service are:
Land Based Projects – there is a resurgence taking place in the UK of people inspired to get involved with growing food, both on an individual and community basis. Smaller scale farming and community supported agriculture projects are forming which can dovetail well with care farming, both ethically and economically.
Local Authorities, Healthcare Trusts and Practice Based Commissioners – seeking service improvements whilst balancing budgets. The improvements that people can make in their lives as a result of spending time on a care farm translate into lower costs due to reduced time in service, reduced medication and a more sustained recovery. This can be especially true in counties with rural areas where health and social care provision can be lacking. Through developing rural healthcare services on farms, additional benefits are accrued with positive feedbacks for wider community health. In addition to the improvements and innovation in health and social care, care farms attract community involvement, produce localised low carbon food production and distribution networks, stimulate rural social enterprise farm diversification, create jobs and reduce crime rates.
Social Care Agencies and Departments – care farming has a proven track record in the Netherlands and has already been picked up by forward thinking healthcare commissioners in the UK. Getting up to speed with care farming and being pro-active rather than reactive to commissioner’s needs evidences commitment to service improvement for clients and helps to secure contracts.
Universities care farming is at the cutting edge of both social care and land based developments, bringing together previously divergent schools. For courses with sustainability content, care farming shows how economic, social and environmental objectives can be met in a balanced way. Wildgoose offers guest lectures to provide a fresh perspective that has been shown to inspire students at both undergraduate and masters level.
Government Departments – discover how your department can benefit from integrating care farming within your policies. Care farming has huge outcome and cost benefits for multiple areas of Government. Those departments concerned with the NHS, farming and rural affairs, justice, education, sustainable development, communities and ultimately the treasury are all key beneficiaries. The Dutch Government realised the cross departmental benefits of care farming and so created a body that sat between departments to develop the service.
Companies– many successful businesses are now recognising the bottom line benefits from developing excellence in their social responsibility programmes. The common response from the public to hearing about care farming is what common sense and a good idea it is. Care farming aligns with emerging trends and values in society, offering a win-win-win opportunity for businesses, the care farms and therefore the farm helpers.