Who is a co-farmer?
FarmAbility co-farmers are women and men over 16 years of age with learning disabilities and autism who like being outdoors and enjoy taking part in purposeful activities, such as egg collecting and grading, growing vegetables, caring for farm animals and horses, woodworking, and a range of seasonal farm tasks. Our co-farmers come to the farm between 1 and 3 days each week, throughout the year.
The co-farmer day
Normally, our programme for co-farmers runs on weekdays from 10am until 4pm. Currently, we are running half-day sessions for co-farmers.
Co-farmers typically take part in different activities each day, including taking the FarmAbility dogs for a walk across farmland, through woods, or down to the river. We have a weekly schedule that changes with the seasons, and co-farmers are able to choose from a range of activities for the three months of each season. Co-farmers work in small groups, supported by an experienced Programme Leader, and often also by a volunteer or occupational therapy student.
We develop a Personal Profile with each co-farmer, so that we can ensure we’re meeting their needs, responding as much as possible to their interests, and supporting them to develop their skills and abilities. We monitor progress by each co-farmer through our Everyday Breakthrough records, and we apply learning from Occupational Therapy and other practice to address specific challenges that co-farmers may experience in the course of becoming more engaged in activities.