- Address: 41 Yellow Road, Hilltown, Newry, BT34 5UD
- Contact: Marie and Paul Kelly
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (028) 4063 8343
- Mobile: 07706834307
Type of Farm
Yellow Road Farm is a sheep/cattle farm of approximately 43 acres.
Yellow Road Farm is a small family farm of approximately 43 acres, nestled at the foot of the Mourne Mountains. We are members of the Nature Friendly Farming Network, which promotes sustainable farming practices. For many generations our family has lived and worked on these mountain pastures caring for cattle and sheep. Although this is still an important aspect of the farm business, in 2019 we will be planting a woodland on our farm, which will help us develop mindful walks and community-based conservation projects. We also have a vegetable garden where we grow a wide variety of organic fruit and vegetables. Our farm is a very busy, yet nurturing place to work with lots of variety of activities, with the daily care of our animals, the maintenance of our orchard, gardens, hedgerows and woodland.
Routine is important on our farm and many of our current Social Farming participants will take ownership of a particular task which fosters a sense of autonomy and helps them to feel valued and needed on our farm. As our farm evolves, those participants who have been with us from 2013 are able to see the impact of their contribution in creating the farm we have today.
Farm Activities Offered To Participants
On our farm we hope to provide a safe and rewarding environment, which can be used by service users to develop new skills and gain self-confidence in a supported communal setting.
Tasks undertaken include:
- Look after dining space
- Feed birds
- Chop sticks
- Trim hedges
- Look after orchard
- Maintain various farm structures
- Feed hens, collect eggs
- Mend hedges and ditches
- Tend to vegetable garden, wild flower areas
- Plant seeds and bulbs
- Plant woodland, protect young trees
- Make compost
- Help with lambing
- Feed cattle/goats
- Help with care of sheep and cattle
- Paint various structures around farm
- Maintain and renovate farm implements
- Make jam
- Baking and preparing special lunches
- Wood work activities eg. build bird boxes
For the last 30 years Marie has educated herself in the area of mental health and has attended numerous courses, seminars, and workshops in the area of Trauma, Resilience, Attachment Theory, Adverse Childhood Events etc. (see below). Marie believes that our understanding of mental health has been completely altered by recent research and it is imperative that any intervention reflects this.
Education and Qualifications
2018-19 NVQ Level 2 Horticulture, SRC
2017 WRAP Level 1, Recovery College
2017 1 Day Self-care Training Workshop, Loughry College
2016 1 Day Emergency First Aid Training, Loughry College
2015 Certificate in AWARE’s Mindfulness Programme, AWARE
2015 Keeping Adults Safe Training, Volunteer Now
2012-14 Certificate in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Zest for Life
2013 8 days of SoFAB Project Pilot Training
2003 Phono-Graphix Teacher Training, Read America
1992 PGCE Primary Education, Strawberry Hill London
1989 Psychology BA (hns.), Queens University Belfast
2019 Recovery Festival, St Patrick’s University Hospital Dublin
2019 ACE’s to Assets Conference, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
2018 Trauma Summit, Waterfront Belfast
2018 Integrating Somatic interventions in the Treatment of Trauma, Belfast
2017 Working with The Fragmented selves of Trauma survivors: overcoming self-alientation, Ashling Hotel Dublin
2016 Technology for Wellbeing International Conference, Charlemont Place, Dublin
2016 Mental Health and Wellbeing Summit, Aviva Stadium Dublin
Marie has been providing Social Farming activities with her husband Paul since 2013 as part of the original Social Farming Across Borders (SoFAB) Project. In 2015, Marie/Yellow Road Farm was successful in securing a contract for Social Farming for one day per week with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. In 2019, this was expanded to two days per week. Marie works with individuals who have mental health issues, a learning disability or are on the autism spectrum.
In 2018 the farm became a Community Interest Company which enabled us to avail of funding opportunities. Marie recently completed work on a twenty-week project (funded by Awards for All, AWA) for people with severe and enduring mental health diagnosis on our farm. My work on this project was supported by the new SHSCT Community Rehabilitation Team and it proved to be very successful. On October 10th 2019, World Mental Health Day, we presented the results of this project to over forty people on our farm including families, local health care workers, community groups, politicians and funders.
Marie hopes to continue her work on the farm with help from her local Health Care Trust as well as local funding bodies. Marie is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of those people who are marginalised, isolated and discriminated against. She wants to provide a safe environment where individuals can work closely with nature and develop social connections within their local community. As Gabor Mate pointed out at the ACEs to Assets Conference in Glasgow (June 2019), trauma is a disconnection from ourselves, alienation from our work, isolation from others and finally, alienation from nature. By working on a Social Farm all these aspects can be compassionately addressed and supported, so that individuals can begin their own journey of recovery.