Alternative Education Provision 8 to 16’s

Our co-farmers - alternative education provision 8 to 16's

Able Hands Together: Little Wishford Farm, Warminster Rd, Stoford, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 0PS

Why choose Able Hands Together?

Able Hands Together (AHT) is a care farm which provides bespoke pastoral support and alternative education for young people aged 8 and over. We are based on a working farm in Little Wishford just north of Salisbury with a beautiful outdoor space and a purpose-built indoor education area. We are a small charity run by a team of highly dedicated trained staff. AHT was set up in 2015 as a care farm for adults with learning difficulties and now also offers an alternative education provision.

What is a care farm?

Care farming is the therapeutic use of farming practices. Where young people attend on a regular basis as part of a specialist alternative education provision.

Care farming is a powerful mix of being in nature, working as a group and meaningful activity. Young people can get closer to nature and do something with real purpose. This could be animal care, horticulture, or a whole host of farming-related tasks. Whatever the activity, young people play an important part in the day to day running of a care farm for this reason all students who attend AHT are referred to as ‘co-farmers’.

Care farming activities are tailored to an individual’s specific needs. The individual comes first and can take part in farm life in a safe and supported way. The farm environment provides a calming and supportive place for young people, in which to improve health and wellbeing or to gain new skills.

What Able Hands Together offers?

AHT provides bespoke pastoral support and alternative education for young people aged 8 and over. Most students who come to us are at serious risk of underachievement and for most, conventional mainstream education has failed to engage them. Many students who cannot cope with a classroom environment find that they thrive in more therapeutic surroundings, participating in animal-assisted projects and outside of the classroom-based sessions. The curriculum we offer is diverse and supports students to gain lifelong independence skills, teaching pupils about much more than animal care. Embedded key skills are fostered daily and include teamwork, listening to others, resilience and developing self-esteem and confidence.

How can a young person get referred to Able hands Together?

Young people can be referred to AHT by teachers or parents for different reasons. It could be learning difficulties, behavioural challenges, or mental ill health. The provision is open to those who attend school but find being in school every day hard as well as pupils not enrolled in a school. The young person doesn’t need to have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) but this can help with funding.

Opening times, Monday to Friday – term time

The Alternative Education provision placements run term time only and each young person comes for a set day each week. Some of our co-farmers come for more than one day.
The farm opens at 9.30 and activities start at 10.00. The day ends at 3.00. A member of staff will be there to meet and greet co- farmers as they arrive.

What does a co-farmer do?

AHT has a daily timetable of activities including:

  • Feeding and cleaning out the animals. The animals on the farm include alpaca, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, and guinea pigs.
  • Gardening in the summer: working on our flower farm and growing saplings to give to farmers to improve local habitats.
  • Halter training Alpaca.
  • Carrying out animal health checks.
  • Building and maintaining animal housing.
  • Walking the farm therapy dog.

The timetable for the day is very flexible and is adapted to meet an individual’s needs on a given day.

If you would like more information or to arrange a visit:
Please get in touch with our specialist Education Team.
Email: farm@ablehandstogether.org.uk
Phone: 07725 734 662.

Before a place is offered, we ask that a young person comes to have a look around the farm with their parent/carer and a teacher from school (where relevant). Following this visit the young person is invited to attend a free taster day. Following this a place will be offered providing we feel that we are able to adequately meet the young person’s needs.

Our Services

Speech & Language Support

Speech & Language Support

Speech & Language Support

We do, of course, welcome verbal and non-verbal Co-Farmers. Makaton is used at the farm where needed, and communication boards with PECS or photographs are also available. We aim to be a centre of excellence for communication.

Promoting Independance

Promoting Independance

Promoting Independance

With 20 years experience enabling the independence of adults with learning difficulties, the staff at Able Hands will ensure that Co-Farmers are learning new skills that will be transferable to their home and social life.

Virtually Together

Positive Risk Taking

Virtually Together

"Virtually Together" is our answer to the UK's social distancing measures during lockdown, we have already seen the positive effects our group video chats and online coaching have had on many of our clients.

Our Little World

Our little world

Our little world

Browse through our unique photo and video gallery of life on the farm and our Co-Farmers at work. We update this regularly, so be sure to come back! We also have a YouTube channel called Able Hands Together, be sure to subscribe to our channel for updates on our videos.