Farming on prescription
Clinks Care Farm is a 143 acre Norfolk County farm in Toft Monks, South Norfolk (just north of Beccles). As a care farm we combine the care of the land with the care of people. The farm provides the opportunity for individuals with mental health issues to take control of their own recovery by improving confidence, self-esteem and motivation. The farm is also able to provide the opportunity to learn new skills; growing veg, animal husbandry, or working with machinery.
We have a 4 acre market garden in which we grow a large variety of vegetables. We sell our produce; vegetables, eggs, pork and lamb direct from the farm and also attend local markets. Recently we have also started a new vegetable box scheme. The farm also looks after a variety of animals which include pigs, sheep, cows, goats, chickens, ducks and geese as well as our farm cats. So whatever the season or the weather there is always lots to do to keep us busy!
Clinks Care Farm is a social enterprise so all our profits are invested back into the farm to help finance new projects. This benefits those attending the farm and also the wider local community. Find out even more on the Clinks Care Farm website.
Five year anniversary
In October 2015 Clinks Care Farm celebrated five years since it's inception. Local media, MPs, healthcare professionals, volunteers and former patients were all invited to the day. During the event, George Ryan from the EDP interviewed some of those who'd been involved with the farm. Those videos are share with you below.
Why come to Clinks Care Farm?
It is now well recognised that being outdoors and increasing activity levels improves mood and well- being therefore spending a day a week at Clinks Care Farm can have an amazing effect. Farm helpers have the opportunity to feed and look after the animals and work in the market garden. We don’t focus on the things an individual can’t do but rather on the things they can. Personal achievements and the physical activity is often enough to make an individual start to feel more motivated. It has been noticed that appetite, mood and sleeping patterns all start to improve as a result of coming to the farm.
Quote from Farm Helper “Since being at Clinks Farm my general mood, anxiety and depression have all improved. I now feel more confident and have also started to grow my own vegetables at home.”
Clinks Care Farm offers the opportunity to do meaningful work in a supportive, therapeutic environment. By doing this it helps prepare for the world of real work, as the farm helper will pick a lot of new skills on the way.
Quote from Farm Helper “The atmosphere at the farm is one of kindness …the activities at the farm are interesting and rewarding and being able to get close and be hands on with the farm animals is a really positive thing.”
Quote from Farm Helper “I felt valued and appreciated for the first time for many years.”
Whatever the weather there is always lots to do both outside on the farm or in the garden, or inside in the polytunnels, barns, workshop or kitchen.
Activities might include:
- Animal husbandry – feeding, cleaning out, checking health and welfare.
- Growing vegetables – sowing seeds, cultivating, planting out, lifting veg.
- Preparing vegetables for sale – producing veg boxes and selling produce.
- Processing produce – making apple juice, jams or chutneys.
- Conservation work – planting trees and hedges, mowing, strimming and tractor driving.
- Workshop Activities – maintenance and repair of tools and machinery, building livestock housing.
The referral is appropriate if the individual is only being looked after by their GP/Mental Health Linkworker, or if they are accessing a psychiatrist only in the mental health service. Once we receive a referral a visit is arranged and if considered appropriate a start date is arranged. We reimburse travelling expenses and provide safety footwear.
Referral forms are available from the farm by calling 01502 679134 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to: