Able Hands Together is a provision to be used in whatever way each Co-Farmer needs. We provide flexible options for a whole spectrum of abilities and needs, and we take our Co-Farmers’ lead in terms of how involved they’d like to be on a particular day while consistently providing gentle positive encouragement. We will never pressure our volunteers or Co-Farmers if they feel uncomfortable or unable at any point, and we model self care in terms of taking space when we need it, and staying honest. At the same time, we are all about a team ethic, with a big focus on collaborating and supporting one another.
Jobs on the farm might involve collecting eggs, feeding the lambs, moving rabbits, or cleaning the straw out of the guinea pig hutch. We are a social and chatty bunch, and we like to take regular breaks and enjoy lunch together in our break-out area. Special interests are taken into account on our farm – for example we have facilitated one of our Co-Farmers who loves to write, in creating a marvellous blog about her experiences at Able Hands Together, which we’re very proud of. Having a read of this often helps prospective new starters to get an idea of what to expect here, from a unique, personal and relatable point of view.
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. Able Hands aims to be a centre of excellence for communication.
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.
Positive Risk Taking
Able Hands aims to enable Co-Farmers to become as independent as possible. The farm environment provides the perfect opportunity to take positive risks in a safe, supervised situation.
The service caters to the level of need demonstrated by the Co-Farmer, as to which days are best for them to attend the farm. This will be determined when Laura carries out an assessment of needs.
Monday and Wednesday: we aim the service more towards Co-Farmers with lower needs. This tends to attract people with Autism Spectrum Condition.
On a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday our Co-Farmers have higher needs and the activities on these days are geared more towards those with learning disabilities.
Call (07713 439 346) or email Laura to book in for a taster morning, at which point referral forms can be either downloaded, emailed or collected from the farm.
Prices & Opening Times
We are open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 3pm. Co-Farmers can attend the farm at a cost of £60 per day (terms and conditions apply).
There are three methods in which a Co-Farmer can pay to use our service, which we clarify before each new Co-Farmer’s starting date so our invoices are addressed correctly.
- Our services are commissioned from Wiltshire Council. If a social care assessment is carried out and a need is proven, the local authority will commission a place. (see ‘Funding’ below)
- Co-Farmers can pay from their direct payments or Personal Independence Payments, or their personal account.
- Payments could be made from a third party.
Each Co-Farmer is offered a free taster morning to see if the placement is suitable.
Please contact Laura on 07713 439 346 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to receive funding to join Able Hands Together, Co-Farmers can have a Care Act Assessment , from which Social Services or the local authority will determine if they need social care. If they do, then they can receive funding. Funding for education comes from the local authority within the education budget. See our ‘Education’ tab.
What to bring
All Co-Farmers must bring a packed lunch and a drink, however we do have tea and coffee available!
For the most part, our service’s activities are run outdoors; feeding the animals, cleaning pens and carrying out manual jobs around the farm. Being dressed appropriately makes the difference between a good day and a bad day.
Essential items are:
Wellies or boots just for working on the farm, along with old clothes or overalls.
Extras For Winter:
- Waterproof warm coat
- Waterproof trousers
- Warm jumpers
- Hat and gloves
Extras For Summer:
- Suitable clothes for outside work, gardening and painting
- Sun hat and suncream