Community Therapy at High Mead Farm

We offer the therapeutic opportunity to work with animals, soil, nature, arts, crafts and trade skills for our Co-Farmers

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A warm welcome from High Mead Farm

High Mead Farm Community Therapy Welcome
High Mead Farm Community Therapy History
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We are a therapeutic farm in Longham, Ferndown. With the experienced guidance and support from our Staff and the generosity of our Volunteers we offer a day service to members of the public living with mental health issues, physical disabilities, addiction, Alzheimer & dementia diagnosis, brain injury, vision & hearing impairment, autism, children excluded from school, Parkinson’s and learning difficulties to engage in an array of interesting activities on the farm.

We work alongside local businesses, churches, social services, local authorities, schools, universities, organisations and charities. We are open to the public for walk-arounds, meeting the farm animals and also sell fresh seasonal vegetables, our own honey, eggs & kindling.

Our Ethos

High Mead Farm is a supported work environment for those with disabilities, we assist those suffering from mental health issues and those recovering from illness.

As a working farm we remain to promote the benefits of engaging with animals, soil and nature.

We create purposeful roles within our Farm environment to bring a sense of well-being and self-worth that many have never experienced before.

The History of High Mead Farm

High Mead Farm (HMF) started in 2012, after taking over the site from Poole and Bournemouth College.

From the support our Landords gave, we soon agreed a positive way forward for HMF. With a passion for nature and a buzz for adventure, Mark Gregory and his business partner at the time took this 4 acre site on. Through hard work and determination, the farm soon started to take shape.

Guided by the ethos of organically growing a business through expanding by word of mouth only, we’ve arrived today with a bustling passionate working therapeutic farm.

Co-Farmers are the heart and the soul of High Mead Farm

Co-Farmers choose to come to the farm as part of their care package or recovery. We receive referrals via Local Councils Adult Social care teams, Mental Health teams within the NHS and other local organisations. Co-farmers can also arrange direct with us to join the therapeutic farm if they wish. We welcome a diverse group from our community, offering a unique experience enabling people to grow using the magic of High Mead Farm!

We can offer 1 to 5 days of therapeutic farming to those wanting to engage with nature, and grow in spirit. Our focus is very much on ability and not disability, engaging everyone through stability and direction. We are not able to offer personal care or continuous one to one work; however co-farmers are welcome to attend with carers.

Co-Farmers, volunteers and the farm staff often engage in group activities which are always a very popular approach to completing a task.

High Mead Farm Volunteers

We are proud to say our volunteers are amazing. Many have been with us from the beginning. Their main role is to support our co-farmers, who are our paying clients.

Testimonials

Having spent time doing military service and suffering mental health issues on return to civilian life, the years of 30 to 55 were spent on the fringes of society. Various hospitals, day centres, unsuitable voluntary jobs and many coffee shops later I arrived at High Mead Farm 4 1/2 years ago. I was, at this time working on a vegetable growing project and ready to move on. At this time Mark and his business partner and a few original volunteers were trying to get Mark’s vision of a community project of the ground. I began on the gardening side, and helped to get it to a thriving vegetable project. I also did some electrical work.

Just the feel of the place and Marks free attitude gave me a belief in myself that I’d not experienced before. In those days we had one sow, Claire ready to have piglets, three goats, two grumpy geese, two Shetlands some chickens and turkeys.
It was soon to become a thriving farming community with various workshops and skill sets to learn. My belief in myself and my skills grew. Although I still have off days, my mental health has settled. The itinerary of the farm is so varied there is no real chance of getting bored.

A caring positive positive attitude is encouraged in all aspects of the farm. Respect is universal both to the animals, co-farmers and all other attendees.

Anonymous Volunteer – March 2016

I like coming to Highmead Farm because it’s full of animals and I love animals. I like looking after and caring for the animals. It’s a really nice place to work at, to socialise and spend time with who you work with because they are friendly and welcoming. Also you can have a laugh with them too as they are all funny in their own little way.

Co-Farmer Louise – March 2016

I started at High Mead Farm in 2016. I suffer from epilepsy and coming to the farm makes me more confident. Since I started coming to the Farm I have made many new friends who have been there for me since day one. I love working with the animals and making things in the wood bay.

Anonymous Co-Farmer – February 2020

I joined High Mead Farm in 2013 doing work experience and enjoyed it so much I decided to stay on. I have made lot of new friends, improved on my social skills and learned to work better in groups as well as a few new life skills.

Anonymous Co-Farmer – February 2020

Meet The High Mead Farm Team

At High Mead Farm we make no distinction between our staff employees or anyone else that carries-out duties at the farm and to embody all involved we collectively refer to all as The Team.

Meet Charlotte



Charlotte

Meet Charlotte our Office Manager. Charlotte previously worked for Bournemouth Borough Council as Assistant Manager – Community Employment Services, supporting people with disabilities into employment. The role also involved job coaching entailing systematic training. After volunteering at High Mead Farm, I now have my dream job. Incorporating my passions; people, nature and nurturing. I have 15 years of experience of working with people with disabilities within Adult Social Care. My focus is on ability not disability. Enabling others to achieve and sustain obtainable goals using the environment, a dynamic approach and laughter. I have qualifications in Health & Social Care, Supported Employment, British Sign Language Level 1 as well as undertaking various courses relating to mental health, physical disabilities and learning disabilities.

Meet Duncan



Duncan

Meet Duncan Our go-to Horticulturist. I have recently joined the farm as part of the horticultural team. I am an experienced market gardener with a qualification in biodynamic agriculture. I also have experience as a teaching assistant working with SEN children. I am looking forward to making the garden a productive and good place to be.

Meet Mark



Mark

Meet Mark Our Manager Having a love for the outdoors and growing to appreciate the benefits of nature High Mead Farm has given me the opportunity to share my experience and skills in building, carpentry and animal welfare. Coming from a supportive & social background I feel I’ve been given a great opportunity to create a healthy & positive social community. In the last few years I have learnt so much and been enriched by the relationships from the Co-Farmers, Volunteers, Staff, Community and the public. I’m very positive and looking forward to an exciting future with High Mead farm.

Meet Deborah



Deborah

Meet Deborah Our Happy Farm Fundraiser I initially volunteered to work with Duncan as I had heard great tidings about the Farm. A position opened up to me to work alongside Charlotte in the office in the capacity of Farm Fundraiser. Although my background was office based, Manager, facilitator, PA, desktop publishing, and the likes, I had never work in the Fundraiser field. Well, I love it. I commenced research in the field and attended various seminars. I have had several success but just as many rejections – all part of the learning process. It is my intention to raise the much needed funds to help realise the wonderful current project as well as the long term project. Always willing to learn!!

Meet Roger



Roger

Roger joined us in 2017. He is an ex-pub landlord and chef and has worked with customers with varying levels of disabilities and needs. Roger is now our builder/groundsman - an indispensable all-rounder. Roger has completed various courses on Mindfulness, CBT, DBT, meditation and other mental health workshops. You’ll most likely see him around the farm designing and constructing new enclosures, decking, climbing frames and whatever else needs improvement to ease the smooth running of the farm.

Meet Lucy



Lucy

I believe passionately in the life changing potential of positive animal and human interactions. I recently completed my BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management at Sparsholt College allowing taking a lead in managing animal husbandry, care and welfare on the farm. The farm has given me so much, including a real sense of belonging and purpose. I take great pride in maintaining the very highest standards of animal welfare to ensure that our animals continue to thrive.

Meet Sara



Sara

I joined the Farm in 2014 as a volunteer. I previously worked in various camphill communities where I learnt to weave and then went on to run a weaving workshop for the Farms Co-Farmers. I now work mainly in the Craft room showing people how to weave various items. Scarves are a very popular item to make. I really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere here, it’s a great place to be.

Meet Russell



Russell

I first came to the farm in 2013 as a volunteer. I have been helping to oversee the animal care since 2015. I have always had a passion for animals. When I first left school I studied animal care and farming at Kingston Maurward College. I went on to pursue other career paths but eventually rediscovered my true vocation in life. I have learnt so much and continue to do so since being in my current position. Helping and supporting people has always been very close to my heart. For 4 years I helped to run an allotment project supporting people with mental health issues. I also helped to run a mental health support group for over 2 years. Working at the farm has been a real learning experience in this area also. It is a real pleasure to see High Mead Farm grow and develop from its early days and I look forward to its continued growth and success.