Papworth Trust’s Farm offers breaks from the challenges of everyday life to families affected by a range of disabilities. It gives them time from their daily life, which they can spend together learning skills and enjoying farm life.
The Farm provides a non-judgmental, relaxed space where, often for the first time in people’s lives, everyone is accepted and supported according to their needs. Using the coaching model staff help family members to communicate, understand each other’s needs and develop ways to cope better after the stay.
This learning benefits the families’ wider communities. Conditions such as autism and mental health problems can be challenging for schools, colleagues and other key people, as well as family members. Some people have reported feeling strong enough to take part in volunteering and even return to employment following their stay.
Parents have seen their children “blossom and forge friendships” and be “the happiest they have ever been” on the farm. One mother explained: “Kerry Farm accepted us and made us feel like we were part of a mini community. We were able to stay somewhere safe in the knowledge that we, as a family, could have a unique experience, just for us.”
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