News

End of Year thankyou!

It has been incredible to see the Wisbech Community Farm come to fruition this year, we are overwhelmed by the generous support of the whole community and are incredibly grateful.

We are now working with 150 adults, young people and children each week, (going through 73 cups of tea, 27 hot chocolates and walking about 37 miles each week!)

Next year:

We are looking at developing the infrastructure so we can grow and build on that number to meet demand as we are proud to have been requested to offer more, having evidenced the impact we are having.

One group we are keen to introduce to the benefits we are seeing with others, are the older generation, so we intend to create a plan to include them.

We will also be increasing our work with children who are in alternative provision education as they respond very well to the farm and our animals.

With thanks and best wishes for 2020!

Katie, Ben, Julie, Lesley, Teresa, Lizzi, Zera and 4 legged team mates!! (plus all our lovely volunteers and friends)

some photos from our end of year thankyou party, held with Allsorts and Waterless in Bloom!

Update Autumn 2019

Networking event – The Human-Animal Bond: innovative ideas to improve young peoples’ wellbeing

Celebrating the diversity of this field whilst raising discussion surrounding how we can work together to provide wide-scale, sustainable solutions for the declining wellbeing of our young people. Our event in September brought together professionals from the health, social care, education and animal welfare sectors. Our aim was to provide an insight into establishing community-based approaches to working, and have time to explore and discuss ideas with like-minded people – with a further aim of raising standards of best practise and developing the field of AAI further across the UK.

We welcomed over 30 people representing a range of organisations, all contributing to our aim of creating a working platform to share and learn from each other, showcasing best practise to inform and support the work of SCAS, IAHAIO and Greencare. as a pre-cursor to standardisation across the field of Animal Assisted Interventions.

We showed you how we have worked collaboratively across Wisbech with healthcare, education, community groups and other AAI practitioners and how that can be replicated across the UK.

We were delighted to have Chris Kent of K9, Meghan Perretta with her thesis from studying MSc Psychiatric Anthropology at Brunel University, Dr Elizabeth Ormerod Chair of SCAS and IAHAIO, Sally Whitwell and Thomas Heffer from Cambridgeshire County Council, with some fantastic local case studies – offering an insightful and detailed range of talks and presentations.

 

To download Chris Kent’s “Walk your worries away” presentation click here … Walk Your Worries Away

To download Megan Perretta’s insightful presentation click here … Creating Solutions to Human Problems Through the Personification of Animals

 

Each talk gave a full background of the theories and practices employed and illustrated the range and impact that these alternative approaches can have on young people.

We all enjoyed a lunch break with the chance to talk to other attendees, and then a short exercise to discuss key topics; “Improved access to collaboration across the UK – Creating working A.A.I. groups across counties.” and “How to ensure mutual beneficial relationships are maintained as the field of A.A.I. grows.” … with some productive steps to progress with as a cohesive group.

Thank you to everyone for their feedback, here is a sample:

good to see the farm”

“amazing day to network”

“outcomes are endless”

“purposeful with no pressure”

upsetting to see depth of issues affecting young people, but inspiring to see solutions”

What next? Steps we are progressing with so far:

Julie and Katie of People and Animals CIC are taking on the learning from the day – for example, working with Chris of K9 for a date of a Cambridgshire wide event and also working with her to put further ideas into practice on the farm, particularly focussing on each others specialisms to see how we can all can work more effectively together, offering a joined up, complementary service across AAI in Cambridgeshire, modelling a succesful collaboration that can be replicated across the UK.

Katie is excited to have been invited by Dr Ormerod to be part of the International Task Force for the development of guidelines for Animal-Assisted Interventions and animal welfare.

 

 

Update – Summer 2019

Thanks to the European Social Fund, managed and monitored by Cambridgeshire Acre, with match funding by Clarion Futures, we are delighted to be able to continue and develop our community services, building upon the success of our TOAST and Friends of Waterlees programmes, with our exciting ‘Community Skills Swap & Share’ initiative. From a cuppa and a chat, whilst Urwin, our one-eyed golden retriever, lies beside your feet, we are able to help local people overcome whatever barriers they face to live happier and healthier lives, with more opportunities for themselves creating a stronger, more resilient community for future generations.

 


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