Covid-19 leads Stoford farm to expand services for vulnerable adults

Covid-19 leads Stoford farm to expand services for vulnerable adults

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 5:46am 23rd June 2020.

3 minute read

Able Hands Together has been going online to support their co-farmers through the pandemic - but they're keen to keep that going.

The Community Interest Company, which relocated to Little Wishford Farm just before lockdown, has been staying in contact with their team through online sessions, including dress-up nights, cooking classes and just catching up with each other.

They've also been giving the co-farmers virtual tours around their new surroundings, to help people feel more comfortable about visiting as the restrictions ease.

Able Hands Together Community Interest Company Little Wishford Farm Stoford June 2020
The co-farmers have also been helping to hand rear the newly born lambs at the Stoford farm

Angela Causey from Able Hands Together says the adults who go to the farm have been feeling real anxiety about the Covid-19 situation, so they wanted to help: 

"It's frightening, quite honestly. We got in touch with them to do these Zoom sessions and it's been so joyful to see them. We've been able to talk about anxiety, ways to cope with it and things to look forward to, but we've done quizzes, we've played bingo and just chatted."

'KEEPING CONNECTED IS KEY'

The online sessions are being held every day, and will continue into the future, despite the lockdown restrictions easing and the co-farmers able to start returning to the site with social distancing measures in place.

Many of the adults there are diagnosed with things like autism, severe anxiety disorders and learning disabilities.

Able Hands Together Community Interest Company Little Wishford Farm Stoford June 2020
The main 'shed' for Able Hands Together has been relocated from their previous home in Laverstock for familiarity

Angela Causey says carrying on the online services is vital for some of those they work with: 

"There's a lot of people out there who are isolated anyway, or feel that they don't want to go and meet people, don't want to go outside - but they need those connections. Connections are so important for us, for self esteem, so we've been able to make those connections with them through the Zoom. It's been lovely."

SETTLING IN TO NEW HOME

Able Hands Together has been getting themselves acclimatised to their new farmland at Stoford, after moving from the previous base at Laverstock.

Their relocation's been made possible after the space was gifted to them, and means the group has more space and room to expand the number of animals they can look after.

Able Hands Together Community Interest Company Little Wishford Farm Stoford June 2020
The new farm at Stoford provides more space for Able Hands Together

There are also plans to grow more fruits and vegetables on site, to give the co-farmers more responsibilities.

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