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New care farming social enterprise gets celebrity backing

SweetTree Home Care Services and community interest group Farming For All have announced they are to launch a new care farming social enterprise.

SweetTree field

SweetTree field

The not-for-profit organisation, SweetTree Farming For All, is being created to make a positive difference to the lives of people of all ages, with a variety of care and support needs. This includes mental health conditions, acquired brain injuries, dementia, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, an offending history and alcohol/substance abuse.

Combining the care farming experience of Farming For All and the specialist domiciliary care services of SweetTree, the new enterprise will aim to impact positively on the wellbeing of individuals who may encounter social or educational exclusion.

Over the next two years, SweetTree Farming For All will begin by developing care farming projects in the home counties and around London. They will offer a range of guided activities, including horticulture, forestry and animal care that are designed to create positive experiences within a safe, nurturing environment. All existing Farming For All projects will also be continuing.

Commenting on the news, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, said: “Growing things and getting in touch with the land is an often overlooked means by which we can all find greater fulfilment in our lives. For those who find themselves isolated due to disability or simply ‘not fitting in’ for all manner of reasons, working with nature and the natural world offers a positive lifeline that has no equal.”

He continued: “SweetTree Farming For All recognises this and is determined to ensure that those who can benefit from contact with the land should be able to experience for themselves the healing qualities that farming and horticulture offer. It is a noble and laudable aim and one that I am delighted to support.”

The two organisations previously linked to run a successful London pilot programme in summer 2013. This saw the development of SweetTree Fields farm in Mill Hill. The farm was attended weekly by participants and their carers. Feedback from attendees outlined the overall impact of the visits as incredibly positive, with marked effects on individuals who visited. SweetTree Farming For All will now build on the success and learnings of this project to provide greater opportunities for more people to access the service.

Jude Allen, founder of Farming For All, said: “We’re delighted to announce the new partnership with SweetTree. We know from experience that projects of this nature have the potential to help change lives. They enable people to re-engage with both society and themselves, to demonstrate capabilities and develop a renewed confidence in life.”

Barry Sweetbaum, managing director of SweetTree, said: “The pilot project was such a great success that we really want to build on it and develop it further. Partnering with Farming for All was a natural next step, as they not only have invaluable experience in this area but have values which reflect our own.

“We’re very excited about our new joint venture. Supporting people to live independent, active and fulfilling lives that really embrace their individual likes and needs is very important to us. Through this partnership we hope to give both our clients and the wider community the chance to benefit, by creating a safe environment for positive, enjoyable experiences.”

For more details please call 0207 644 9505.


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