A local Oxfordshire charity providing skills and practical work experience for people with learning disabilities and autism through agriculture and farm-based activities.
FarmAbility is a local Oxfordshire charity which uses agriculture and farm-based activities to provide skills and practical work experience for people with learning disabilities and autism. The charity has a workspace on the Blenheim Estate, enabling them to offer participants the chance to work doing activities like livestock management, tree planting, gardening and painting. The participants work as ‘co-farmers’ at Park Farm and in the Walled Garden.
As part of the partnership, co-farmers have a wide range of projects and duties that they carry out with volunteers and members of the Blenheim Estate Team, from painting to potting, and fence-building to feeding livestock. Co-farmers also look after their own vegetable bed and have a designated area in one of our glasshouses for potting up and winter gardening activities. The relationship between the FarmAbility team, co-farmers and the various Blenheim Estate teams is helping the charity create an inclusive and accepting environment where co-farmers have a purposeful and engaging outdoor occupation, and where their contribution is recognised and valued.
FarmAbility is one of several community-based charitable programmes we support. We are committed to sharing our land with a wider audience to promote the benefits both of exercise and interacting with the countryside for mental and physical wellbeing. We know how it is particularly important for people with learning disabilities and autism to enjoy an outdoor, active life with purpose.
Our relationship with FarmAbility has benefitted many co-farmers already and for every £1 invested into the programme, £4.50 of social return is generated.
FarmAbility hopes to offer more places for people with learning disabilities and autism by building on partnerships with other farms, landed estates and green spaces around the county. The charity is also aiming to restart its schools programme and a project welcoming older people with dementia to FarmAbility sessions hosted by co-farmers.
Visit FarmAbility's website to read more about their fantastic work, and see how you can help.
...in Oxfordshire have learning disabilities or autism
...is generated for every £1 spent on the programme
...showed improvement in motivation for occupation; a measure of confidence & self esteem, following visits to Blenheim
...showed improvement in their communication and interaction skills, which in turn improves their social wellbeing