Three of our EVS volunteers – Francesca, Ana and Ingrid – went to visit Tommy Earley’s Social Farm on its open day on 19th October. Despite the bad weather, they took a walk around the premises to see the work that is being done there. Then they gathered with the rest of the visitors to hear several persons involved in the Social Farming scheme explain what it was about.
Social farming is a form of social service that gives the participants the opportunity to be placed for around eight or twelve weeks in a family farm to get involved in its activities. The partner organizations make sure the environment is safe for the participant as well as for the farmers who take them in. People get interested in Social Farming for various reasons and needs, for example, some have been diagnosed with physical or mental disabilities, others have struggled with alcohol or drugs, they can be isolated because of their age or be on probation. Refugees are also welcome to participate in Social Farming.
If they choose this scheme as part of their service support, they get the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities in which they are able to bond with other people from the local community.
Research being done to measure the benefits of Social Farming for the participants indicate that they are happy with their experience.
Leitrim Development Company joined forces with the Department of Agriculture’s CEDRA fund to open National Social Farming Support in 2015. The company is also working with other Development companies and stakeholders, in particular, three other Local Development Companies – Waterford Leader Partnership, West Limerick Resources and Mayo Development Company.
To discover more about Social Farming, please refer to this website: