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 Farming Support Service offers:
Rural Support deliver the Social Farming Support Service for Northern Ireland, supporting farmers delivering Social Farming and promoting the service for those who could benefit from participation, leading its development here.
The Social Farming Support Service operates with a vision of Social Farming being widely recognised and understood in Northern Ireland, with farmers delivering high-quality Social Farming services across the region for individuals in need of support, that are valued by all, accessible for all, and supported by sustainable resources.
Key points on Social Farming
- Social Farming activities are structured, meaningful, part of a typical farming week and include a wide range of farming tasks, from caring for livestock to growing vegetables and maintaining the land.
- Participants benefit through social inclusion in the farming community, the opportunity to undertake meaningful activities and the physical and mental benefits of being outside interacting with nature and animals.
- The farm must be operational without Social Farming. Income from Social Farming delivery can support the sustainability of the farm and a range of different farm sizes and enterprise types can be suitable.
Social Farming Standards
Rural Support have developed Social Farming Standards to demonstrate that farmers delivering a Social Farming service are working to agreed standards to ensure quality of delivery. The Standards require farmers to evidence that they are delivering a service that offers A Person-Centred Service, A Place for All, and a Safe Farm Environment.
If you are interested in delivering Social Farming on your farm, please contact the Social Farming Support Service team on the details below or complete the Expression of Interest form.
Office: (028) 8676 0040
“My weekly attendance has increased my confidence, not only in the farm environment but in my daily life. Structure, continuity and ‘feeling connected’ are of utmost importance when struggling with anxieties about the world and other people”Social Farming participant
“Providing Social Farming services has brought a new lease of life to our farm, and to us as farmers, allowing us to share our connection to the land and to nature with our community”Social Farmer