Social farming focuses on peoples potential rather than limitations.
Social Farming offers people who are socially, physically, mentally or intellectually disadvantaged the opportunity to spend time on a family farm in a healthy, supportive and inclusive environment.
A person may choose to spend a fixed amount of time on the farm participating in activities they may be interested in such as gardening, animal care or indoor activities such as baking bread or jam making.
Social farming activity takes place in a safe and supportive environment taking into account an individuals abilities, desires and interests. Focus remains on encouraging participants to socialise, gain confidence and build relationships.
The farm is not a specialised treatment farm; rather it remains a typical working farm where people in need of support can benefit from relationship building through farm activities in a nonclinical environment.
While those participating in Social Farming activities may derive therapeutic benefit from it, this is not the main purpose or aim and the farmers are not playing the role of therapists. Social Farming supports people in living ordinary lives, interacting with their community and environment, developing their potential.
Social Farming Progress
As of mid 2019:
- Social Farming Ireland has 270 people trained in the farming sector from each of the 26 counties in Ireland.
- Over 6,300 participant days have been delivered to 790 participants.
- We are engaged with 60+ service providers.
- 25 of 26 counties now have active social farms.