Thriving at The Community Farm
The Children’s Centre’s Inclusion Project has been successfully running for over 5 years and we are thrilled to announce we have been awarded funding for another year from Manx Mencap. A huge thank you to them for their continued support of the Inclusion Project.
During this time the inclusion project; a farm-based project providing meaningful pursuits and pathways for young adults (18+) with learning difficulties and disabilities have been involved in activities designed around the running of the farm as well as exiting community opportunities enabling the young adults attending to gain accomplishment and satisfaction with a pinch of fun too!
Whether it’s nurturing new-born lambs, or sowing a potato crop, rural learning provides an opportunity to develop skills, friendships, work ethic, positive self-concepts, behavioural and emotional management and resilience. Crops sometimes fail, nails get bent, but our motto is, to dust ourselves off, learn, laugh and have another go!
The project revolves around four key areas; farm and horticultural work (animal husbandry, taking ownership of food production), social enterprise (entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged through farm made products and events ), community volunteering (giving back to others and being productive and visible around the island) and social experiences ( the groups taking ownership of organised walks and events) providing the individuals with the skills needed to thrive and unlock and realise their potential.
At The Community Farm we use a person centred approach and this is key to the development of each individual who accesses the inclusion project. Some individuals decide they want to gain more experience, perhaps move onto volunteering or even employment. In these special cases, we help the individuals to identify and prepare for opportunities to move onto employment, volunteering or educations such as Myerscough College in the UK.
Peer mentorship within the inclusion project is also a great way of developing such individuals who have shown above and beyond commitment and taken on further responsibilities and are seeking to develop the skills gained on the project over a set time.
We are very excited to announce that we have two newly appointed mentors on the project.
Both mentors attended the inclusion project and we are delighted that Beth Nicol, has now moved onto employment. Our second Mentor, Chris Boardman has recently achieved mentor status following a successful probation period. Both mentors have demonstrated their skills in not only horticultural practice but their ability to help others gaining confidence in doing so too.
Our recent secured funding means that we can continue to develop young people in a holistic and person centred approach. Llinos Cowsill, Inclusion manager said “We are so overwhelmed with the support shown by the community and the ongoing support from funders and donations given towards the project. The project enables young adults to truly thrive in a dynamic environment allowing the attendees gain confidence and create diverse, necessary and useful roles. The mentoring scheme alone shows how participants are considered by what they can give, not what they can’t. We welcome any input from the community and we look forward to be involved in many fantastic community events this year”.
We continue to require financial support from the Manx community as this service is proving to be not only important for the individuals and their families but also giving back to the community in meaningful ways. We want this to be a sustainable and worthy project for future generations to come.