Appleseed Care Farm CASE STUDY

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Click here to read information on the status of Community Action Norfolk's Services. As well as links to other information and advice
This website uses cookies. You can read more about how we use your personal data in our Privacy Notice

The Appleseed care farm has been set up in Wymondham to offer people with mental health and social care needs, suffering with anxiety and depression, job seekers, ex-offenders and those living in sheltered housing a chance to boost their health, happiness and well-being.

Two years in the planning, Appleseed is firmly established and sees groups of up to 10 adults visiting the 17 acre site the site on a weekly basis and take part in activities including growing vegetables and flowers in an allotment, looking after chickens, working on conservation projects and habitat management and woodworking sessions.

Social enterprise Appleseed was set up in October by headteacher Greg Sadler and Steven Lerpiniere, marketing manager at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. The project emphasises accessibility and inclusiveness

Norfolk RCC helped with funding research and advice after the project almost stalled at an early stage.

Greg explains “We knew which organisations we wanted to approach with funding applications but we were getting nowhere. South Norfolk Councillor Neil Ward put us in touch with Norfolk RCC and their input was invaluable in helping us frame our applications and presentations in a way that got us noticed. Without a doubt, the funding wouldn’t have happened without the RCC’s support.”

Funding from Norfolk Community Foundation, Safer Norfolk Police Fund and South Norfolk District Council enabled the infrastructure to be put in place, including the building of ‘The Lodge’ that provides a warm meeting area.

Formerly disused land has been transformed into the beginnings of a thriving farm, complete with poly-tunnel and chicken enclosure - and Greg and Steve say the scheme has gone from strength to strength, with the offer of free places being supported by a successful application to the European Social Fund.

Steve said: “It’s important that our users come to us and take ownership. We had an empty piece of land, we provided the raw infrastructure and they bring the ideas and build upon that. The benefits that have been seen upon people have been significant.”

The Appleseed journey began with a joint desire to give those in need another option and provide an alternative way of working.; to aid and support recovery, to provide an opportunity for developing new skills, to allow people to feel better about themselves and improve their mental health and well-being.

Greg said: “We wanted to do something which could help people who are in a situation where they might otherwise struggle; Appleseed can meet the needs of many social groups and partner with schools, youth services, local councils and other commissioning groups. We are now a delivery partner for Orbit Housing East, and this is a significant step for us in being able to help and support even more people.”

Michael Edney, South Norfolk councillor who supported the idea, said: “It just helps such a wide variety of people; its reach is massive, whether you are in need of support or whether you want to volunteer. It is an amazing project. Some of the users report that they look forward to their visits each week. Their time with Appleseed makes a massive difference. Some are lonely and if they are not down at the farm, they are sitting in their room.”

Appleseed looks forward to supporting yet more individuals. Greg and Steve have secured another site in Eye, where they hope to take on more staff to oversee the visits and grow the business and work towards selling the produce grown.

For more information or to get involved, contact 07880 746413 / 07880 746413 or email [email protected]