Wisbech CLLD-supported project 'People & Animals'

Discover how our Wisbech Community Led Local Development programme has supported a community-based project that promotes animal-assisted therapies for mutual wellbeing.

About the project

Funder

This work has been made possible thanks to funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England ESF programme. Established by the European Union, ESF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, skills development, job creation, social inclusion and local community regeneration.

Why is this needed?

Imagine that you are so affected by your mental ill-health, that you are unable to leave your home for several years, losing contact with friends and family resulting in an overwhelming fear of social situations. This could happen to any one of us and now, with the support of a £47,567 grant from Wisbech CLLD, a Community Farm has been set up to help support and nurture people who may find themselves in such a position.

The farm has been set up to be a sanctuary, where you can smell the jasmine and the flowers, see open spaces, be with the ponies, somewhere people can feel safe with no judgement. The team behind the Community Farm recognise that the people in need of their help need to feel safe and not under any pressure.

They encourage people to come and join in with the gardening, the day to day jobs on the farm, taking them on a journey to help improve their mental wellbeing. They recognise that, regardless of physical or learning disabilities, mental health challenges, ages, gender, culture, economic status or background, animals make us all smile. Their therapy animals along with multi-disciplinary human staff team already support over 100 local people each week to overcome the barriers their mental health creates, helping build communities through a shared interest.

For many of the people who attend the farm they will learn new skills that will help with progressing towards further education and training and eventually employment.

How can you get involved?

CLLD is an innovative way of distributing funding from European Social Funds to support people to gain new skills and increase their chances of getting a job. Local people make the decision on how funding should be allocated and spent.

The programme funds local projects aimed at:

  • increasing the employment chances of local people;
  • supporting people to move closer to work;
  • increasing opportunities for people to join in training and learning programmes that help them find work or volunteering;
  • helping people access services, transport, information technology and advice that help them find work.

 

If you work for, or are, an organisation that has a project like this and would like to discuss possible funding opportunities, then please contact Kieran Carr, Economic Programmes Manager at Cambridgeshire ACRE on 01353 865047, email kieran.carr@cambsacre.org.uk or contact through this website.

What impact has our work had?

With the help of funding from Wisbech CLLD, People and Animals have (as at Jun-2021) worked with 42 people of which:

Updates

If you would like to know more about the community farm project, please speak to Katie on 07541 402354 or visit the Wisbech Community Led Therapeutic Farm Facebook page.

The funding for the project has recently been extended to September 2022, providing an additional 18 months to help the project support the recovery of local people from COVID-19.

Testimony

“The dogs make me feel happier about myself and my future.”

Quote from an isolated young person in the community.

Useful links

Who can I talk to about this work?