Days on the farm
Here at Nineveh Ridge Care Farm we offer a variety of activities. Be it Indoor or outdoor, we offer something for everyone
Through learning to nurture an animal, service users learn to nurture themselves. By learning about the animals’ basic needs: food, water, exercise, clean home and affection; the service users can learn about their own needs and start seeing themselves as ‘worth nurturing’. Animals can be enablers for cultivating or modelling the positive nature of interpersonal relationships. Animals encourage interaction: many of our service users have problems with social interaction, they may distrust people in their ‘personal space’, or they may invade others’ space. With talk about the different animals’ likes and dislikes, and by drawing comparisons between the two, service users can be encouraged to engage healthily with others and to regain trust in relationships.
The farm has a herd of cattle, pigs, goats, ponies, sheep, ducks and hens. All of these animals require food, water, and cleaning out. The staff do their best to involve everybody in this at some level, as most clients love the livestock (particularly when the weather’s good). Some people just like to sit and watch and maybe stroke a goat!
The Small Animal House
‘Interserve Construction’ kindly funded the building of a small animal petting shed: which houses our rabbits, chinchillas and degus. This enables even our most disabled clients to help with animal tasks, and to benefit from the experience of touching and holding small animals. Everyone seems to enjoy cuddling rabbits!
We have three Shetland ponies at Nineveh. They have been with us a long time and ‘know the ropes’: They have a short walk every day on leads, but more importantly, they will stand quietly and enjoy being groomed forever!
Gardening and Horticulture
There is a disabled garden area for participating in small horticultural activities, such as taking cuttings, propagating, potting up plants, planting and growing on seeds, as well as weeding and watering the 'beds on legs'. This area is adapted to be accessible and suitable for wheelchair users and clients with limited mobility (funded by the West Midlands Cooperative). There is also a field veg patch of raised beds, as well as a large polytunnel for year-round vegetable growing. We do not use chemicals on our fields, so the vegetables are natural and very tasty! The clients can be involved from planting the seed to the harvest; in compost and leaf mould production; and in helping to cook and sample their creations, using our own produce and healthy recipes.
The Craft & Woodwork Shed
The creative hub of the farm! There are always craft and woodwork activities going on. The craft and woodwork shed is bright and cheerful, with bright coloured artwork all over the walls, roof lights (windows), and a cosy wood burner. We find that those service users with limited capacity for joining in seem to still enjoy the atmosphere and the visual stimulations and this cabin also has wheelchair access.
From bench and stool making to photo frames and plant troughs, there is always a project on the go. In 2013 we had funding from the European Social Fund to run free woodcraft sessions for adults with learning disabilities; this was a huge success, and a total of 84 adults were able to access these days. In 2014 we were awarded some further funding from the Big Lottery, to run some more free days, this time geared towards making musical instruments. Details are on our News page.
The craft activities in the past have included large paper mache animals, making clay bricks, totem poles, peg weaving fence panels, badge making and more. We start a new and innovative craft activity each month, using recycled materials as much as we can. These are the larger projects, where everyone is working as a team. We also have smaller projects for those who prefer to work on their own.
We have the wonderful Sean, our music man, who brings music into every day. As much as possible, we try to end each day with a little music and song. We have a wide variety of percussion instruments (funded by Worcestershire Children’s Services), drums, guitars and a piano. We also hold musical evenings whenever possible for the clients to participate in.