What is Rural Care?
Rural Care provides training and work experience for people with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues in a supportive and caring environment on a fully working farm. We also work in partnership with North Hertfordshire College to provide accredited training for their students with learning disabilities on the farm. Volunteers are welcome and can help out with Rural Care or can work on their own so they can enjoy the tranquillity of the farm.
Rural Care offers something for everyone.
- Co-farmers work in small mixed ability teams in a variety of jobs to suit individual interests, needs and abilities.
- Co-farmers are supported by fully qualified and experienced staff.
- Students help to look after the livestock, and grow vegetables and fruit. Working in the store, cafe or kitchen to package and process food is also part of the experience as well as having fun and making new friends.
- On a day at the farm, you might collect eggs, feed the pigs, sow seeds, harvest strawberries and serve customers in the cafe.
- Every day varies throughout the seasons. Because of this, our co-farmers get an understanding of how food is produced from field to fork.
- Everyone is offered the choice of what activities they want to try or get involved with.
Our person-centred approach to learning and experiencing the farm.
Everyone who attends Rural Care is treated as an individual and a person-centred support plan is created for each co-farmer. We encourage active experiences and learning in an environment where we challenge, nurture and educate.
What we offer here can help to bridge the gap between school/college and work and independent living. By developinglife- and social-skills, we increase self-esteem, confidence and encourage stability.
We have seen that providing purposeful outdoor activities aids mental health and emotional and physical wellbeing.