FarmAbility, Gardens (6) — sankalpa supported activity



Working in partnership with farms and growing spaces, FarmAbility coordinates meaningful work for a team of co-farmers; people with learning disabilities and autism.

By taking part in purposeful outdoor activities, people increase their independence, personal value and connectedness to society — while also improving their physical health, well-being and skill set.

Co-farmers are involved in each stage of the gardening process, from sowing seeds to harvesting produce. The gardens offer a rich range of activities that suit different people with differing interests, needs and abilities.

Supporting FarmAbility

As of 2013, sankalpa has provided FarmAbility with an annual grant towards their staffing and equipment costs.

Our support helps the team to continue their farm-based programme of gardening, forestry work and animal care. Previously supported activities include:

  • Cultivation of two organic vegetable garden; where food was prepared together and eaten as a group.
  • Feeding of two horses and a pony; learning how to groom and feed horses is a useful skill that meets the human desire to support others.
  • Partnering with local employers; supporting Oxfordshire businesses to move towards more inclusive and diverse work places.
FarmAbility, Gardens (7) — sankalpa supported activity
FarmAbility, Equine Interaction & Therapy (2) — sankalpa supported activity
FarmAbility, Gardens (6) — sankalpa supported activity

There’s so much support out there for new projects, but there’s a real gap in the funding landscape for organisations that are already doing good work, and want to continue.

sankalpa has supported our work when others wouldn’t. By building a relationship with us, the sankalpa team have come to believe in our ability and support our core running costs.

Sharon Williams, FarmAbility

FarmAbility, today

Working from their current base at Blenheim Palace, co-farmers have been lambing, repairing fencing and growing lots of fruit and vegetables.

The organisation has also partnered with two schools and one college, taking students into community growing spaces and onto farms in and around Oxford. In addition to preparing co-farmers for the transition to adulthood, FarmAbility continues to build new community connections and gives the wider community the chance to see how people with learning disabilities and autism can make a valuable contribution to society.

FarmAbility - Hannah Co-Farmer
FarmAbility, Equine Interaction & Therapy (4) — sankalpa supported activity

When I get home after a day at FarmAbility, I feel as though I have been smiling all day. You make me feel really special. The peace and tranquillity really helps my difficult to control epilepsy. It gives me peace of mind. My co-famers are fun and friendly and always helpful. I really enjoy being with the horses. It’s really therapeutic and grooming them is relaxing although ‘Breeze’ can be like a child, ‘hard work’!

Hannah, FarmAbility Co-Farmer
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