Posted on: 13 Jul 2022
Helping Hooves Derbyshire CIC had a vision when they moved to new premises in Little Eaton (just off the A38 with good transport links), to build a stronger community. They wanted to invest in the communities mental wellbeing, whilst supporting people most in need without judgement or fear of being stigmatised. But where to start was the question.
They had been supporting young people and adults for a while, and the pandemic made sure there was a growth in attendance and need for their groups. It became apparent to the companies board that there were a number of microcommunites in need of their help, and one of those was people who were in recovery from substance and alcohol misuse and dependence. A subject close to the values of Hooves Managing Director Bridget who says everyone on the planet is one bad day's decision away from needing a new start. And when you need that new start, the community around you means everything.
The vision grew itself and became clear as time went on that what they had here was in fact a micro farm. Hooves and the Carrot Club had started out as an equine led learning centre but has now become a vibrant and happy social farm where service users meet several times a week to tend the animals, develop the facilities , learn new skills and produce locally sourced. welfare guaranteed, homegrown organic fruit, veg and farm products. And they do this as a member led (fuelled by homemade wood stove cooked Pizza) team who are learning as they grow.
The lived experience of mental wellbeing issues that their team bring to the group dynamic shows through the support felt by members, One service user recently quoted as saying ‘its just nice, you can be yourself here and you don’t have to pretend, you're outside and you're busy, but your mind can relax.
Another said in feedback ‘I had the best day I’ve had in a long time, it really was an eye opener, I came home feeling normal’.
Helping Hooves farm space is pretty, quiet, away from eyes and above all supportive and fun.
The recovery group is one that welcomes new members and understands boundaries you may fear, but the staff are there to help you through the door if you need it, and once you're in, you may never want to leave!
With Equine, Farm and small animals, micro farming, conservation, allotment growing, gardening, bush craft and bee keeping activities there is something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors.
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For more information on self or supported referral into service please contact Bridget via firstname.lastname@example.org