Saturday 15 December 2018
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theguardian - 30 days ago

These kids need to be needed and farming gives them that

Care farms can help vulnerable young people develop resilience and a sense of purpose, say social care professionalsJulie Plumley knows first-hand how open space and being around animals can help someone’s sense of wellbeing. The qualified social worker grew up on a farm, and recalls how it offered its own kind of therapy. “The farm always used to put me right,” she laughs. “If I’d had a row I had four or five fields to stomp across and my dad always needed me to help him, so I always felt like I had purpose.”Plumley, along with her husband and son, now runs Ryelands Farm in Dorset, a working farm on 12 hectares (30 acres) of land with a range of livestock used for animal-assisted therapy. “We work with young people challenged the most in life,” she says. “They are the least likely to engage with services. Nearly all of them are excluded from school, some are excluded from learning centres, in care or on the edge of care.” Continue reading...

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