Rural resource centre opens

A new rural resource centre was opened yesterday at a pioneering Waveney farm.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon and Norfolk County Council chairman Tony Tomkinson officially opened the new centre at Clinks Care Farm in Toft Monks, near Beccles.

The farm, which is managed as a social enterprise by Doeke Dobma and his wife Iris, is running a pilot project which allows GP-referred patients with mental health problems the opportunity to use the farm environment to aid their recovery by improving confidence, self-esteem and motivation.

People referred to the farm can grow fruit and vegetables, care for livestock, including chickens and sheep, work with machinery and get involved in agricultural work. The farm's new log cabin will offer further opportunities for people to learn skills in horticulture, agriculture, IT and healthy cooking. The new centre has cost �90,000 with funds coming from the Rural Development Programme for England administered by Waveney Valley Local Action Group, the Broads Authority's Sustainable Development Fund, Ecominds and the family of the late Simon Adams.