The Sunflower Community Care Farm - using farming methods as therapy.
is a not for profit organisation using farming methods for therapy.
There is robust evidence in support of Care Farming which shows that:
“Spending time participating in care farm activities is effective in enhancing mood and improving self-esteem. It can significantly reduce feelings of anger, confusion, depression, tension and fatigue.”
We are open five days a week, with six places each day on a 1:3 ratio. Hoever, if you feel you need more support than this, you are welcome to bring a carer. Sessions run from 9.30 am until 3 pm and we offer a pick up and drop off service to and from Melton.
Places are available either by referral from Suffolk County Council or privately. Application forms can be downloaded from our website, where our current price list can also be found.
The farm is three and a half acres, surrounded by farmland and with direct access to Rendlesham forest. There is a relaxed and happy atmosphere where people can feel a sense of purpose and gain confidence and independence.
We have two horses, one miniature shetland pony, four goats (Pipkin was born on the farm in March 2018), chickens, guinea pigs, dogs, cats (who are a bit shy!) rabbits, several fish and there is also a growing number of other wildlife that frequent the farm!
All our animals have been chosen for their friendly and calm temperaments. May, one of our goats, will stand still for as long as she is receiving attention, and Maizie, one of the chocolate labs, will lie on your feet to prevent you moving away from her!
Tilly, our miniature Shetland, is a bit of a free spirit and takes her job of keeping the grass down very seriously. She wanders around the farm all day, sometimes asking to be in the field with the horses (which she is allowed to do) and sometimes asking to eat the goat feed (which she is not allowed to do!)
From time to time we have a ‘pop-up’ farm shop at the entrance to the farm where we sell our excess produce, eggs, kindling and manure to raise funds for the farm.
Activities may vary depending on the groups attending and the time of year, but the following are examples of things we do:
- Feed the animals
- Collect eggs
- Walk the goats to eat weeds
- Plant vegetables
- Water plants in greenhouse
- Clear stripped branches from goat field
- Groom the horses and goats
- Dust chickens for mites
- Clip goats’ hooves
- Sweep tack room
- Mow grass
- Weed beds
- Clean tack
- Walk the dogs and Tilly
- Brush the dogs
- Harvest vegetables
- Clean out the animals
- Pond dipping
- When we have enough volunteers available, we also offer riding
Whilst there are plenty of activities to keep us busy all day long, taking time out to sit and pet an animal or listen to our ex-battery chickens cooing happily in their new home, is also an important part of our day.