Able Hands Together (CIC) focusses on therapeutic farming for the benefit of the community. Therapeutic farming practices provide health, social, or educational care services for groups of people through supervised and structured programmes of farm-related activity.
In other words, a therapeutic farm essentially combines care of the land, environment and animals, with the care of people.
Work on a therapeutic farm can help put someone’s life back on track by providing meaningful activity and a practical daily structure. The activities undertaken are real, constructive, and based on the daily, weekly and seasonal jobs around the farm. The benefits of being outdoors in the fresh air and working with animals include tangibly improved mental and physical health, a fact which is now becoming more widely recognised by health and education professionals.
We intend to pave the way for therapeutic farming to become a widely recognised and accessible option for those who would benefit from the life experiences we offer.
Having worked in social care since college, Able Hands Together Founder Laura Tween focussed her work on adults with learning disabilities. After completing her law degree it soon became apparent that the average office environment wasn’t the space for her. She became a social care consultant, and it was through this work that she found her creative energy and passion for community projects was highly suited to being a social entrepreneur.
Whilst delivering social care, Laura found that most therapeutic activities for people, like cinema or bowling, were entirely non-skills building. Laura wanted to create an offering where they could learn new skills, build their independence and work on emotional well-being simultaneously. A therapeutic farm service ticked all these boxes. Able Hands Together was established in 2015. The role of the Co-Farmer was soon born, to assist with day to day farm work, building employability, interpersonal skills, independence, and self esteem.
Both staff and Co-Farmers work together to care for the animals, & plan and maintain the smallholding to make the most of the growing season. We have just had the exciting news that Able Hands Together has been approved as an Alternative Education Centre by Wiltshire County Council for Co-Farmers aged 18 and over.
Laura is immensely proud of Able Hands Together and welcomes you to get in touch.
Jason Rhodes – Director
Jason is the Managing Director of Commercial Business at Nottingham Trent University. Jason brings a wealth of business knowledge and advice to Able Hands Together.
Jake Tween – Director
Jake interprets Government Policies on Education to ensure that the advice given by Able Hands Together is of a high standard. He also serves as a great consultant when it comes to the boring paperworky stuff.
Carl Anderson – Team Member
Carl is an ex-member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. He brings a wealth of skills-based services to the farm. If something needs to be built, Carl’s the man to do it! Our Co-Farmers love helping him to construct and build everything, from goat gates to raised vegetable beds.
Davina Parsons – Co-Director
Davina leads th eeducation side at Able Hands Together and facilitates the courses we run. She is very experienced with autism and learning disabilities. Davina is extremely passionate about the work we do and is keen to help the business move forward.
Nicolette Ann Shears-White – Team Member
Nic has worked at Able Hands Together for a number of years now and is proud to have a close working relationship with all the Co-Farmers. Having previously been a social worker, Nic is well connected with Hampshire based learning disability professionals and is very knowledgeable about safeguarding and rights. She promotes our Co-Farmers’ independence and works with a skills based approach with our clients.
All staff that support our Co Farmers have DBS checks, are employed with their employment history and references checked. They are trained in safeguarding, Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity. Staff receive ongoing supervision and have access to further training.