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Growing sun flowers, holding virtual classroom sessions and online farm walks are all part of Wisbech community farm's efforts to help mental well-being



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A community farm is helping young people and their mental health despite the current Covid-19 lockdown.

Wisbech-based People and Animals has had to adjust the way it delivers services to people in the local community as a result of the coronavirus but director Katie Bristow, said they are still doing what they can to help.

She said: "We are currently working hard to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on mental wellbeing, with a number of initiatives including virtual classroom sessions."

Katie continued: " We have several young people still receiving alternative education with us, via non-contact walks at the farm, and virtual classroom sessions and an online community farm.

Katie Bristow with Biccy and Rascal - the community farm is still helping people's mental well-being during the coronavirus outbreak.
Katie Bristow with Biccy and Rascal - the community farm is still helping people's mental well-being during the coronavirus outbreak.

"We have also launched a sunflower growing competition with some of our volunteers, young people and TOAST attendees. They are caring for their plants at home and reporting back as they watch them grow throughout the summer, ready for judging with the winner to be announced July.

"We have a volunteer led blog, putting out regular thoughts, activities and challenges which can be found online at https://cabinfever.simplesite. com/445437588."

Volunteers are also putting up daily challenges and insights into the working of the farm, which is based in Lynn Road, via its two Facebook pages to help keep people smiling through these difficult times.

Wisbech Community Farm had an open day last summer to show what it has to offer.
Wisbech Community Farm had an open day last summer to show what it has to offer.

Katie added: "We are working with some of our amazing volunteers (remotely) as well asCambridgeshire County Council (CCC), Fenland Association for Community Transport (FACT), Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycle Network(CCORN), Clarion Futures and Chris Stevens of Wisbech Community Development Trust, delivering a series ‘Happy Packs’ filled with fun activities.

"We have been donated 13,000 plants from Volmary - so are busy with some of our volunteers and their families, re-potting and growing them on, ready for distributing 'wildlife packs' across the community as a way to support well-being through our nature-based therapies."

People and Animals have also helped an older woman who had recently moved from the South Coast to the Waterlees area of Wisbech who had a host of pot plants stolen from outside her home last week. The group delivered around 30 plants to replace those that were stolen.

Katie concluded: "None of our community projects would be possible without the support of Clarion Futures, and Cambridgeshrie ACRE with European Social Funding. "We have so many more plans over the summer too, and will continue doing whatever we can to support our amazing community!"



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