Better Together Project
We did it
On 2nd March 2020 we successfully raised £1,231 with 11 supporters in 42 days

We aim to offer sessions to young people struggling with social isolation and mental health issues within our community.

by Apple Tree Farm Services CIC in High Bickington, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Our current target is only a small portion of the full funds we need to reach in order to fully complete the project. We need to raise a total of £8000 to support the project to its full potential.


The Better Together Project at Apple Tree Farm Services CIC 

Who we are:

At Apple Tree Farm Services CIC, our purpose is to provide personalised health, social and education care services for a wide range of individuals in the North Devon area including those with mental health problems, people suffering from mild to moderate depression, adults and children with learning disabilities, children with autism and disaffected or disadvantaged children and young people.

The Project Objectives:

Our project will offer sessions for young people struggling with social isolation and mental health issues, bringing them together and aiding recovery to support them to lead fulfilled lives in the future. We aim to offer sessions to those who are most at risk of isolation and mental health issues and struggling to access help and support through the usual means. We offer opportunities for engagement in physically and mentally nurturing activities which promotes good health all around.

 

The project will focus on supporting young people in exploring their emotions, to tackle locally identified and often hidden or unrecognised issues young people are seeking support with, for example;

 

  • Self harming
  • Low resilience and coping mechanisms
  • Increasing loneliness and isolation amongst young people
  • Anger management issues
  • Lack of life skills to make friends and sustain friendships
  • Low sense of self, self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Bullying
  • Child poverty related issues

Why is it needed? 

The NHS Digital Publication titled Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 (2017) found that there were 3,805 people under 18 in contact with mental health services across Devon between January and March in 2016.

Although Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services provides a range of care to those in need, there is a desperately long wait to access this help. In Northern, Eastern and Western Devon NHS areas children are having to wait 159 days on average (more than five months) to access the help they need. Often, by the time they are offered helped, they have started to self-harm, become suicidal or dropped out of education.

A summary of the key findings of the search can be found in full here: https://files.digital.nhs.uk/A6/EA7D58/MHCYP%202017%20Summary.pdf

 

The local authority (Devon County Council) estimated that the number of school-age children (aged 5 to 16) with a mental health disorder in 2013 was as follows:

East Devon 1,538

Exeter 1,398

Mid Devon 1,041

North Devon 1,185

South Hams 1,006

Teignbridge 1,521

Torridge 772

West Devon 672

Devon Total 9,133

Source: Association for Young People’s Health: Key Data on Adolescence 2013

The 2015 Report on Children’s Well-Being - North Devon by The Children’s Society states that ‘Currently 23.25% of children in Torridge, and 22.45% of children in North Devon live in poverty’

The Office for National Statistics shows that rates of suicide among the under 25s have generally increased in recent years, particularly 10 to 24-year-old females where the rate has increased significantly since 2012 to its highest level with 3.3 deaths per 100,000 females in 2018. 


Most relevantly, we have identified that at least half of the young people currently attending Apple Tree Farm on a weekly basis have shown or disclosed mental health and isolation difficulties, with a number of them confiding in us relating to self harming and feeling suicidal. Some of these children are as young as 10!

How it will be delivered:

 

The project will be delivered at Apple Tree Farm using the principles of animal assisted therapy to engage in self-healing and mental well-being practices. During our sessions we aim to deliver educational and motivational content to promote self-belief and confidence building, incorporating farming practices and animal care to instil a sense of belonging and responsibility in the young people attending.

We will run 78 sessions, at two hours long each, over a 26-week period from April to September 2020.
There will be three groups – A, B and C formed of 4 to 6 young people attending weekly sessions and we will run each group for 13 weeks and then repeat the process for the next 13 weeks with three new groups – D, E, F.

At this, we expect to be able to reach and help between 24 to 36 young people during the course of the 26-week period.

 Who will help us:

 

We aim to engage with other local organisations such as Young Minds, a charity supporting young people with mental health needs, CAMHS, local GP practices and/or nurses in order to offer the young people in the project maximum opportunity to seek and achieve improvement.

What we are hoping to achieve:

With the use of carefully prepared questionnaires and discussion, we hope to gather evidence of the beneficial effects of care farming and animal assisted therapy in order for us to roll an all year round programme to help the ever growing number of children with mental health needs.

Above all, we hope to provide children who are likely to be disadvantaged and underprivileged with the opportunity to broaden their experiences and to gain skills and knowledge that they would otherwise not be able to access in their educational or personal lives.

We also hope to be able to create a Peer Mentor programme, offering young people successfully completing the project to join our team on a volunteering basis, supporting future projects working alongside our small team to make a difference in the future.

Funding:

 

We have calculated that the cost of a two-hour session for 4-6 individuals is £100. This takes into account the following:

 

Public Liability insurance

Running costs of operating the farm such as electrics, water, etc
 Staff (two staff per group)

Running costs of animal care such as feed, water and bedding (this does not include any veterinary care or medication)
Safety equipment such as ear-defender, safety boots, wellies, coats
Snacks and refreshments (available at all times during session)
Additional activities such as arts and crafts or woodwork
External inputs from other organisations

 This means we need to access funding of £7800 pounds in order to run this project. We have therefore set this figure at £8000 to allow a £200 contingency budget which we envisage will be useful for the provision of transport help for anyone attending the project but struggling.

 

 

 

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£17 or more

2 of 10 claimed

Fund a session for one young person

Your donation will pay for one session for one young person, giving them a taste of what life could be like!

£20 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Buy a young person's taxi ride to the farm

Help to provide transport contingency funds to pay for a taxi to bring a young person to the farm.

£60 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Private Mini Farmers event for up to 10 toddlers

You will have a chance to book your own private Mini Farmers event for up to 10 toddlers in your group!

£217 or more

1 of 36 claimed

Fund 13 sessions for one young person

Your donation will pay for a full term of the project for one young person and make a life changing difference.

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