Engaging young people in farming

Engaging young people in farming

Engaging young people in farming

Introduction

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has left many young people facing mental health problems and struggling to engage with their learning in the school environment. At the same time, it has been shown that engaging young people in nature and outdoor educational activities can have a positive impact on their mental health.

2022 Award

John Harrison (CF 2019) is Development Manager of Stomping Grounds Forest School CIC, a social enterprise working to bring communities from all backgrounds together and reconnect them with nature. Previously he worked in homelessness, international development and farming. On his Fellowship he explored the benefits of therapeutic farming and now wants to apply this learning to support the wellbeing of the younger generation.

John has been awarded one of our Activate grants to develop a farm-based social enterprise in north Northumberland that offers outdoor therapeutic educational activities for young people, to engage them in their learning, help them develop relationships and support good mental health. The funding will act as a personal stipend for John, so that he can allocate two days per week over an 18-month period to develop and grow the social enterprise. John will create a business plan, establish and register a social enterprise with support from local organisations, appoint a board of non-executive directors within the fields of education and mental health, work with membership charity Social Farms and Gardens to develop policies and procedures based on best practice guidelines, build relationships with local schools to develop a referral system, create an activity programme for the young people, train farm staff and recruit volunteers, carry out safeguarding and risk assessments, and develop marketing materials to promote the service across the region to those who might benefit.

This would provide a quality farm-based alternative education provision for schools in the region, and John hopes that it will offer young people who are struggling with the school environment the opportunity to learn and grow in an alternative safe and supportive setting.

John’s Fellowship explored the therapeutic use of farming practices to reduce homelessness.

2022 Award

John Harrison (CF 2019) is Development Manager of Stomping Grounds Forest School CIC, a social enterprise working to bring communities from all backgrounds together and reconnect them with nature. Previously he worked in homelessness, international development and farming. On his Fellowship he explored the benefits of therapeutic farming and now wants to apply this learning to support the wellbeing of the younger generation.

John has been awarded one of our Activate grants to develop a farm-based social enterprise in north Northumberland that offers outdoor therapeutic educational activities for young people, to engage them in their learning, help them develop relationships and support good mental health. The funding will act as a personal stipend for John, so that he can allocate two days per week over an 18-month period to develop and grow the social enterprise. John will create a business plan, establish and register a social enterprise with support from local organisations, appoint a board of non-executive directors within the fields of education and mental health, work with membership charity Social Farms and Gardens to develop policies and procedures based on best practice guidelines, build relationships with local schools to develop a referral system, create an activity programme for the young people, train farm staff and recruit volunteers, carry out safeguarding and risk assessments, and develop marketing materials to promote the service across the region to those who might benefit.

This would provide a quality farm-based alternative education provision for schools in the region, and John hopes that it will offer young people who are struggling with the school environment the opportunity to learn and grow in an alternative safe and supportive setting.

John’s Fellowship explored the therapeutic use of farming practices to reduce homelessness.