Bendalls Farm Day Care Service provides an excellent opportunity for service users to benefit from an open and quiet environment, enabling them to learn and develop new skills. The 250 acre farm is situated on the Mendip plateau, just 5 miles from the market city of Wells and enables service users to enjoy an outdoor farming and agricultural environment.
The way in which the day service is delivered has changed over the last year with introductions to more specific and focused sessions rather than the former arrangement of three groups (Blackdown, Mendip and Quantock groups). All the courses are open to all that use the Bradbury House organisation and allow individuals to choose the activities and sessions that suit their own interests and needs. With the option to choose which courses are attended on a termly basis the service users can pick whichever activity they feel most interested in and try something different every term. This has provided each service user with more meaningful and rewarding activities that they can opt in or out of. Each session is planned to run the duration of a term (five to ten weeks) with detailed lesson plans designed and reflective accounts completed by the staff team to ensure that each session provides a fulfilling and rewarding day for the service users that attend.
Each course is planned and run by staff passionate about the particular subject and allows service users to engage in activities they are stimulating and fun whilst enabling them to learn and develop a wide range of life skills, form friendships with others that have the same interests, promote independent living, individual empowerment and choice in a fun and safe environment. Information regarding the sessions on offer at the present time can be found at the day service office.
Please feel free to telephone or email Pete McCalmont (day services service manager) with any queries on Tel: 01749 674863 Mob: 07872 844583 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environment; On site there are several wooded areas in which service users can learn about woodland management, i.e. coppicing, brash clearance and hedge trimming. Nature trails run through these woods and new trees have been planted each winter as part of our planting programme to extend the woodland. The woodland programme promotes the enhancement and development of ’habitat’ which encourages foxes, badgers, barn owls and other birds of prey on the farm. There are also several clay lined ponds on the farm which encourage insect and aquatic life. To help teach service users about environmental issues, rubbish created on site is taken to the recycling depot and all of the vegetable waste is composted. A benefit of having so much land is that we are able to keep a large variety of livestock. This gives service users the opportunity to help out with animals such as pigs, sheep, cows and chickens, some of which are endangered rare breeds. We also have some more exotic animals such as llamas, rheas and water buffalo. Bendalls Farm aims to be as sustainable as possible. We have several large vegetable patches which provide us with seasonal produce, and our selection of livestock produces quality pork, lamb and beef, which is used throughout the organisation. As you can see from the activities below, service users not only enjoy eating the produce, they have the opportunity to grow it as well. In October 2007 a wind turbine was erected after a year on the waiting list. The wind turbine produces 6 k of electricity, which provides one of the teaching areas with enough power for lighting, heating and hot water. Bendalls’s Farm has the use of various indoor workshops. Regular social events for service users are also hosted at the farm, such as barbecues, games days, presentation evenings, bonfire nights, Easter-egg hunts, disco’s etc.
Here are a sample of our day service activities:
The Horticultural session: This session was setup in the summer 2014 and runs every Wednesday at the vegetable plot and poly tunnels near the Mendip Centre. The session specifically focuses on the horticultural aspects of the farm and educates the service users on everything garden related, from growing plants from seed, to digging in manure to the soil and maintaining the poly tunnels and potting shed. The group have been working hard this year rejuvenating the garden area and working not only to grow crops for this season but preparing the fallow ground for next years’ crop. Through some of the quieter periods of the growing year trips are organised to allow the course participants to look around gardens and garden centres for inspiration.
Animal Care: The animal care sessions on a Wednesday and Thursday are a chance for the service users to participate in the daily animal husbandry tasks of the farm. The session activities include the feeding, watering, grooming and mucking out of all the day care animals which include pigs, horses, ducks, chickens, geese, goats, rheas, rabbits and ferrets. The service users also accompany the staff to our local animal food supplier and are involved in the loading and unloading of food and bedding and the refilling of our various food bins. This session is very popular which is why we run it over the two days. The session is open to all service users but can be difficult for those with walking difficulties as some of the activities are on uneven ground.
From Scratch Cooking; Cooking sessions take place on a Tuesday and Friday in The Craftshed and are designed to give service users the opportunity to work with produce that they have grown and cultivated from seed. It also develops their independent living skills as it gives a better understanding of food and the benefits of a healthy diet. Sessions are facilitated by our trained staff, who plan sessions to include themed world cuisine recipes from Greece, India, Italy, Mexico and beyond.
Day Care Centres
For a more in-depth description of our available sessions or for an informal chat regarding the Bendalls Farm Day Services please contact Pete (Day Service Manager) on Tel: 01749 674863 Mob: 07872844583 between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday, email: email@example.com