The veterans Farm-Able Foundation, a charity based near Totnes in Devon, is appealing for some farm land to carry out its important work in the Devon area.
The charity works with farmers in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall to support veterans and emergency service personnel suffering from trauma from combat or in their line of duty, by learning rural skills on farms as part of rehabilitation and resettlement. And is it now appealing to more farmers to join them.
Having some land to base some of its activities is vital to the charity’s work of providing innovative farm based experience days, residential weekends and courses.
Its unique mix of rural skills and therapeutic input is already having an impact on the lives of service men and women and their families.
Many people have benefitted from the innovative experiences and courses already.
Extensive research has shown that working with nature and livestock can have a significant positive effect.
Amongst the activities are animal husbandry, dry stone walling, traditional hedging, horse riding and care and much more countryside orientated activities.
The activities are not just enjoyable and developmental they are therapeutic too.
Penny Connorton, founder and chief executive of the Farm-Able Foundation who is also a former dairy farmer and livestock breeder, said: "For local farmers working with us this is not just a great way of supporting participants it is also beneficial in other ways.
"You can benefit from the great skills that the veterans have such as engineering, construction, working as a group to achieve a particular project.
"The veterans benefit from a new situation in the countryside, with like-minded understanding people and experiencing new and interesting skills with the camaraderie of being with their fellow veterans.
“We are also looking for a small plot of land where we can form a smallholding for the veterans run by the veterans, working in conjunction with local farmers, and a place for veterans to come to when we are not out on experience days on other farms. In some circumstances the farmers can be remunerated for training our veterans.”
The charity works in conjunction on with local support groups, The Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and Blind Veterans.