Young people attending the Farm struggle to ‘fit’ into mainstream education and accept the social norms of society. The need to 'fit in' is often a major factor which can lead to unresolved feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. Many experience difficulties when forming or maintaining relationships which can result in negative self-image and self-worth. Young people seek structure and encouragement on their terms so behavioural support and social integration are core elements of all programmes. All young people that attend receive additional support to achieve a positive outcome. Some are at risk of permanent exclusion or involvement from professional services such as Children’s Services, Youth Offending Services and the Police. Others are just in need of a more nurturing environment to thrive.
Young adults attending the Farm after leaving school are looking for extra time to explore their options. Countless young adults find that they do not have the qualifications or confidence to find a job or college placement. Some find themselves unsupported and isolated so withdraw from their responsibilities hoping they can delay adulthood. Young adults that attend the Farm gain a positive self-awareness and identity from meaningful tasks and a high level of staff support. Young adults have an improved sense of industry, learn basic skills and have a better understanding of the direction they would like to take in the future.
Adults that attend the Farm are supported in a number of different ways depending on their level of ability. Many adult volunteers with support workers complete tasks in the daily upkeep of the site, some attend in small groups to participate in farming activities and others engage more specifically with our Donkey Sanctuary. Although many adults may have emotional, physical or psychological challenges in their lives we do not see disability, only ability!