Enable2 fund days out on the farm for Barnardo’s Stronger Families
12 Sep 2018
The Barnardo’s Stronger Families programme supports families from some of the most deprived communities across Leeds and Bradford, addressing their barriers to work and training. Their aim is to achieve a change in families, where children have positive role models and the family see and feel the benefits of employment; not just in monetary terms but in confidence, wider social networks and improved health and wellbeing.
Enable2, already in partnership with the Country Trust, recognise how low income and stress mean that families can miss out on enriching experiences such as day trips, meeting new people and spending time in green space and fresh air.
Days out on the farm had already proved a great success for refugee and asylum seeker families, run in partnership by Enable2, the Country Trust and Refugee Action Bradford. So using the same approach, a total of twenty-four adults and fifty-three children were taken to Gazegill Organic Farm in Clitheroe for farm discovery trips throughout February half term, Easter and the summer school holidays.
As well as being shown around the farm, everyone was encouraged to pet the animals and get involved. Key workers from Stronger Families attended to give support and encourage some of the children and adults to overcome their anxieties, for example, of being away from home and around other people. The children had many learning opportunities and lots of fun. They made ice-cream and played together in the fresh air, whilst spending quality time with their parents.
The key workers at Stronger Families told us about some of the family members’ experiences:
“The families attending the trip rarely have the opportunity to offer their children a day away from the stresses and strains of daily life and really value the farm trips.”
“Vicky was worried and anxious about the farm trip but her key worker encouraged her and came along. Vicky found that through chatting to other parents her attention was diverted. The family had an amazing day. Vicky said, “I am happy I decided to attend because I enjoyed myself and my anxiety disappeared for the time I was on the farm. The fresh air and meeting new people really helped and has given me the confidence to try new things with my daughter.’’”
“Life has been full of anxiety and struggle for the Brown family, with their three children but they were able to enjoy a wonderful day out together. The farm offered something for everyone. After the trip the family worked with their key worker to look at other opportunities to get out and about cheaply in the countryside surrounding their home.”
Stronger Families say they can see the participants to the farm days out growing in confidence and resilience, pushing themselves to try new experiences.
“What can seem such a small step really helps our families make positive change for the future. The farm trips offered a great opportunity for connecting with nature and each other. Thanks to the Country Trust and Enable2 for funding this initiative.”