The Sunflower Community Care Farm
The Sunflower Community Care Farm is a not for profit organisation using farming practices for therapy.
We use our farm to provide health, social and wellbeing services for vulnerable people including adults with disabilities, mental health issues and those experiencing isolation; Primary aged children with emotional and behavioural issues and who are at risk of exclusion and we plan to set up peer mentoring for girls and women with mental health issues and their families.
All activities are carried out in a supervised and structured programme for small groups of up to six places per day with a 1:3 ratio.. Sessions run from 9.30 am until 3 pm and we offer a collect and deliver service to and from Melton Station.
Places are available either by referral from Suffolk County Council or privately. Application forms can be downloaded from our website, where our current price list can also be found.
The farm is three and a half acres, surrounded by farmland and with direct access to Rendlesham forest. There is a relaxed and happy atmosphere where people can feel a sense of purpose and build self esteem, independence and experience reduced feelings of anxiety.
We have horses, ponies, goats, chickens, guinea pigs, dogs, two cats (who are a bit shy!) rabbits, several fish and there is also a growing number of other wildlife that frequent the farm.
All our animals have been chosen for their friendly and calm temperaments. One of our goats, May, will stand still for as long as she is receiving attention, and our younger chocolate lab, Maizie, will lie on your feet to prevent you moving away from her.
Tilly, our miniature Shetland, is a bit of a free spirit and takes her job of keeping the grass down very seriously. She wanders around the farm all day, sometimes asking to be in the field with the other horses (which she is allowed to do) and sometimes asking to eat the goat feed (which she is not allowed to do!)
From time to time we have a ‘pop-up’ farm shop at the entrance to the farm where we sell our excess produce, eggs, kindling and manure to raise funds for the farm.
Activities may vary depending on the groups attending and the time of year, but the following are examples of things we do:
Feed the animals
Walk the goats to eat weeds
Water plants in greenhouse
Clear stripped branches from goat field
Groom the horses and goats
Dust chickens for mites
Clip goats’ hooves
Sweep tack room
Walk the dogs and Tilly
Clean out the animals
Whilst there are plenty of activities to keep us busy all day long, taking time out to sit and pet an animal or listen to our ex-battery chickens cooing happily in their new home, is also an important part of our day.
The farm has demonstrable standards covering areas such as:
Relevant training of staff to work with the expected types of clients
Health and safety signage suitable for the intended client group
A children and vulnerable persons protection policy, acknowledged by any staff expected to work with clients
Feedback and evaluation procedures in place
An Emergency First Aid Appointed Person on site with procedures in place and accident and injuries records
Relevant risk assessments
Maintained health and safety records
A written complaints procedure
Appropriate and adequate insurance is in place.
All staff and volunteers are DBS checked and have completed Safeguarding training