Care farms showcase their benefits

Care farm initative at Clinks Farm, Tofts Monks; Farmer Doeke Dobma (right) Allie Kirk (support worker in black top) with Claire Drake ( in tractor ) Tom Read (left) and Lee Lambert Care farm initative at Clinks Farm, Tofts Monks; Farmer Doeke Dobma (right) Allie Kirk (support worker in black top) with Claire Drake ( in tractor ) Tom Read (left) and Lee Lambert

Friday, June 6, 2014
11:07 AM

The therapeutic benefits of staying in the countryside will be showcased next week when Norfolk farms taking part in a ‘care farms’ scheme invite in people interested in trying out their facilities along with health professionals and healthcare commissioners.

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The event follows a care farm conference at Diss on May 23 which attracted big-hitters from farming, politics and health, including Health Minister Norman Lamb and Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee, both of whom spoke at the event, and National Farmers’ Union regional boss Pamela Forbes, who chaired it.

Care farms can be used by a range of individuals capable of benefiting from outdoor activities and spending time on a farm, including those with mental illnesses and conditions and also people with some physical problems requiring recuperation.

Conference organiser Doeke Dobma of Clinks Care Farm of Toft Monks, near Beccles, said the movement was gaining momentum across the region, with support growing for the idea that there should be care farm representation on healthcare commissioning bodies - an idea championed by Mr Bee.

“Before, we were left outside the corridors of power but it’s a first major step forward that we have been invited to participate in these meetings,” said Mr Dobma.

The movement was keen to demonstrate that not only was its services providing the health and social care system with good value for money but also that it was getting better results than other methods of care, said Mr Dobma.

Following the success of a pilot ‘care farm on prescription’ concept trialled by Clinks Care Farm and Great Yarmouth and Waveney’s clinical commissioning group, Mr Dobma is set to talk to South Norfolk about the idea of setting up a similar scheme in its area.

The open care farming week is aimed primarily at people with individual personal budgets for care, as well as care managers and commissioners.

“It’s an opportunity for people who have not come across care farms before and they want to know more,” said Mr Dobma.

Please contact the care farms participating in the open event before arrival.

Norfolk care farms taking part include Lingwood Care Farm, Dairy Farm, Station Road, Lingwood. Open from Monday Friday from 9.30 to 3.30. E-mail: sallymedler@hotmail.co.uk / telephone: 01603 714063 or 07946 610973; Brambles Care Farm, School Road, Bedingham. Open from Monday Friday from 10 to 3.30. E-mail: admin@bramblescarefarm.co.uk / telephone: 01508 483846 or 07825 511510; Green Heart Farm, Red Hall Lane, Southburgh, Watton, Open on Wednesday and Saturday. E-mail: mayesemma@yahoo.co.uk / telephone: 07723 998950; Clinks Care Farm, Church Road, Toft Monks, Beccles. Open from Monday to Friday, 10 to 3.30. E-mail: iris.vanzon@clinkscarefarm.org / telephone: 01502-679134; Two Jays Farm, Buxton Road, Horstead. Open on Tuesday. E-mail: shelyd73@live.co.uk / telephone: 07926 096932.

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