The Sunflower Community Care Farm
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 three 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 10 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, and well-rotted 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.
Who to contact
- Tessa Amos
- Care Farm Manager/Managing Director
- Social Media
Like us on Facebook
Capel St Andrew
- IP12 3NH
Where to go
- The Sunflower Community Care Farm
Capel St Andrew
- IP12 3NH
- View IP12 3NH on a map
- Area served
- Saxmundham, Ipswich, Aldeburgh, Leiston, Stowmarket, Framlingham, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, All Suffolk, Southwold
- Venue Email
- Venue Website
- Parking available
- Parking details
- There is limited parking available
- There is a community bus that can be booked to come to the farm. We offer a pick up and drop off service to and from Melton Station, by prior arrangement. Collection is 9.30 and drop off is 3.30 pm
- Restrictions to access
- There are no restrictions to access.
The farm is about 3 1/2 acres surrounded by farmland. There is one large paddock where the horses and pony live, and a smaller paddock for the goats. There is an enclosed area for the pond and wildflower area and another enclosed area for the chickens, rabbits and guinea-pigs. There is also an enclosed area with 6 raised beds. There are two seating areas which accomodate about 8 people at each. There is a sunken trampoline near the pond. There is a workshop and a meeting room. Three stables and a tack room.
Days & Times
- The farm is open from 10 am until 3 pm
- Time of day
- Session Information
Sessions run from 10 am until 3 pm
three days a week - 48 weeks of the year
- Cost Details
- The half day sessions are for people with more complex needs and are generally with a view to moving to full days in the future.
- Referral required?
- Referral and availability notes
Referrals can be made via Suffolk County Council or privately. Referral forms are available from our webiste. Once we receive your completed application form, we will contact you to arrange a visit.
- Age Groups
- Accreditation website
- Accreditation details
- The care farm is accredited by Suffolk County Council and we have a CEVAS (Countryside Educational Visits Scheme) Accredited Person.
We cater for adults with disabilities and mental health issues.
- Service users involved in planning
There is an element of choice involved at the care farm. Service users have an input into which activities we do.
- Experience of including people with special educational needs and disabilities
Our staff and volunteers all have experience of working with people with SEND.
- Tessa Amos
- 07850 953351
- Conditions Supported
Autistic spectrum conditions
Mental health conditions
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