Achievements to Date
Set up in 2005 as the National Care Farming Initiative, we became Care Farming UK from 2011 to 2018, when we merged with the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens to become Social Farms & Gardens. During our time as Care Farming UK we:
- Organised four successful national conferences
- Gave care farming a unified voice under the Care Farming UK banner
- Conducted the first scoping study concerning care farming in the UK
- Enabled a strong network of practitioners to evolve
- Launched the Care Farming UK website
- Developed case studies and resources to assist potential care farmers and commissioners
- Ran open days, workshops and seminars all around the country
- Held promotional receptions at the House of Lords and Royal Show
- Helped launch local and regional initiatives and projects
- Got care farming on the map and into the minds of policy makers
- Arranged a delegation to lobby the Minister of Agriculture
The National Care Farming Initiative was created after representatives from several different organisations concerned with health, welfare, education, farming and rural matters, became aware of a growing number of venues offering care farm services to people with a range of special or particular needs.
We recognised the lasting and sustainable healthcare development that can be achieved through engaging with nature, the land and in particular the farming communities of the UK.
We also recognised that care farm providers can feel isolated and the lack of a national network meant that many were missing out on the benefits of collaborative action (e.g. marketing, training, service access, etc.), mutual support and political impact.
To take the work of the National Care Farming Initiative forward and to help address the rapid development of the care farming movement in the UK, the decision was made to create Care Farming UK. This new organisation was launched by Sir Don Curry, Chairman of rural insurer NFU Mutual, at the Royal Norfolk Show on June 30, 2011.
In April 2018, Care Farming UK merged with the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, to become Social Farms & Gardens