Taster session for the Children’s Centre programme for people with disabilities

Tom Dawe, Paul Barnes, Emily Davies and Peter Taylor, who have all taken part in the 2013/2014 inclusion programme

Tom Dawe, Paul Barnes, Emily Davies and Peter Taylor, who have all taken part in the 2013/2014 inclusion programme

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The Children’s Centre Community Farm is running taster sessions over the summer for anyone interested in joining its ‘inclusion programme’.

Aimed at over 18s in the island’s disability community, the scheme begins its second phase in September.

Commenting on the progress of those who have taken part in the first year of the programme, the Community Farm’s inclusion officer Llinos Ellis said: ‘We have seen a huge improvement in individuals taking part as they have blossomed and increased in confidence, resilience and resourcefulness.

‘Some group members have gone on to become supported volunteers at events held at the farm, the aim now is for some to work towards work placements and employment.

‘Open awards have been undertaken in horticulture skills and developing skills for employment.

‘We would welcome anyone who thinks they can benefit from the programme to come along and meet us at one of the taster sessions to see for themselves the benefits it can bring, and ask us any questions they may have.’

Taster sessions will include animal husbandry, horticulture, team building, craft work, workshop skills, and using produce grown on the farm to cook meals. Remaining taster sessions this summer will be held from 10am to noon on Friday August 15, August 22, and August 29.

There is a nominal charge of £2 per person per session. The full programme starts from September 15 and will run until July 2015.

Following funding from Manx Mencap in 2013 The Community Farm began developing its provision to people with disabilities.

After initial discussions with relevant groups, it was clear there were several key areas of need. These centred on how people with disabilities can access further and higher education, how they can develop social and vocational skills and enhance their employment opportunities. As with all of the educational programmes at The Community Farm, the inclusion programme aims to develop confidence, self-esteem, motivation, communication, and interaction with others.

For more details about the Inclusion Programme contact the Community Farm by emailing farm@thechildrenscentre.org.im or call 610540.

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