A warm welcome from High Mead Farm
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 to purchase fresh seasonal vegetables, our own honey, eggs & kindling, from our on site Farm Shop.
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.
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