Social Farming & Innovation

As a farmer or member of a farming family, there are opportunities to both provide and gain support to feel connected. Social innovation that is tailored for and targeted at farmers offers opportunities to connect whilst promoting positive health and wellbeing. By delivering a Social Farming service, you can give time and use the farm enterprise to enable individuals with support needs to benefit from engaging in meaningful activities in a socially inclusive environment.

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Farming is a way of life as well as an occupation. Feeling connected to others can be easier during some stages of farming life and more difficult in others. Loneliness and isolation can negatively impact on your health – both physical and mentally. With the opportunity to meet other farmers, you can chat about your farming experiences and feel supported by people in a similar setting. The wide-ranging skillset of farmers and their farming families, combined with the qualities offered by the farm environment can be harnessed by delivering Social Farming – a community-based service for individuals with support need.

Loneliness & Isolation

Living in the countryside has many benefits, but rural isolation and loneliness are a growing concern within Northern Ireland as feeling isolated and alone can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Rural Support are breaking down the barriers of isolation and promoting connectivity through the initiatives outlined below. Across the Hedgerow – Offered…

NI Agri-Rural Health Forum

The Northern Ireland Rural Health Forum, co-ordinated by Rural Support, brings together key decision makers in agriculture, public, voluntary, government and related commercial organisations to help influence public opinion and ensure the appropriate incorporation of mental and physical health needs in rural communities – particularly for farming families – into strategy and policy development. As…

Social Connections

Feeling connected to your peers and wider community has positive benefits for our health and wellbeing. Making time for maintaining social connections at all stages of farming life will help you meet challenges and demands while feeling a sense of enjoyment in life. Agriculture involves communities of farm families who live and work cooperatively alongside…

Social Farming Support Service

Social Farming is an innovative use of agriculture to promote therapy, rehabilitation, social inclusion, education, and social services in rural areas. In delivering a Social Farming service, farmers give their time and experience to help others while also benefiting from the support and using their farm in this way.  Find out more about Social Farming What the Social…


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