Care Farming Consultancy has been formed to help connect expertise in the farming, health and social care fields to bring new opportunities for people who could benefit. Care Farming Consultancy sat at the heart of the development of over 40 new social enterprise care farms in the West Midlands. From this experience we can provide sound guidance, advice and development expertise to those wishing to develop care farming.

Care Farming Consultancy can offer a breadth of service right from experiential training opportunities for potential care farmers on one of the leading care farms in the UK, right through to strategic presentations and service development for those seeking health and social care innovation.

Care farming creates a distributed autonomous healthcare network where the energy and commitment of small care farming teams is not hindered by the inefficiencies of much larger organisations. Care farming networks are good examples of a new emerging business model described by Frederic Laloux in his book ‘Reinventing Organisations’.

Those who could benefit from Care Farming Consultancy are:

Land Based Projects – farms, woodlands and market gardens all have potential to develop as care farms. Smaller scale farming and community supported agriculture projects are forming which can dovetail well with care farming, both ethically and economically.

Social Services and Healthcare Practices – seeking service improvements whilst balancing budgets. The improvements that people can make in their lives as a result of spending time on a care farm translate into lower costs due to reduced time in service, reduced medication and a more sustained recovery. This can be especially true in counties with rural areas where health and social care provision can be lacking. Through developing healthcare services on farms, additional benefits are accrued with positive feedbacks for wider community health. In addition to the improvements and innovation in health and social care, care farms attract community involvement, produce local food, stimulate social enterprise diversification and create jobs.

Worcestershire Drug and Alcohol Action Team worked closely with Jon to develop new care farms across the County ready for commissioning. We are already seeing the evidence and further potential for these care farms to significantly improve outcomes for our clients whilst meeting our budget. I would recommend that any care commissioners seeking similar innovation for a wide range of vulnerable people would greatly benefit from speaking to Jon to discuss what care farming can offer.

Anne McKay
Joint Commissioning Manager, Worcestershire DAAT.

Universities – Care Farming Consultancy offers guest lectures to provide a fresh perspective that has been shown to inspire students at both undergraduate and masters level. Care farming brings together an unusual combination of land use, social care and sustainability and so tends to be very stimulating and thought provoking.

I have brought presentations covering the concept and development of care farming into a leading edge MA Programme with great success. Care farming provided a practical and sustainable innovation that meets complex issues facing society, particularly by connecting health, interaction with the natural environment and land use. The presentations were uplifting and inspired students to develop their own work along care farming lines. I truly hope that this new consultancy service continues to spread what is a vital message into courses and programmes at other educational establishments.

Professor Shirley Garner

Government Departments – care farming has substantial outcome and cost benefits for multiple areas of Government. Those departments concerned with the NHS, farming, justice, education and ultimately the treasury are all key beneficiaries. The Dutch Government realised the cross departmental benefits of care farming and so created a body that sat between departments to develop the service.

West Mercia Probation have over the past few years developed land based schemes both to assist offenders rehabilitating into the rural economy and to provide the support of a therapeutic learning environment where social, group working and vocational skills all come together. Care Farming and in particular Care Farming West Midlands have provided a structure and methodology to support this new but very valuable intervention.

David Chantler,
Chief Probation Officer, West Mercia Probation Trust.

Companies – many successful businesses recognise the bottom line benefits from developing excellence in their social responsibility programmes. The common response from the public to hearing about care farming is what a good idea it is. Care farming aligns with emerging trends and values in society, offering a win-win-win opportunity for businesses, the care farms and therefore the farm helpers.Care Farming consultancy