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|About||Oldbury Cottage Care Farm is being created to provide opportunities for people with learning disabilities to experience life on a small farm.|
My name is Jonathan Smith, I am 46 years old and a few years ago I had a dream.
I used to work in a fantastic club called the Parkway Club in Nuneaton. This club used to meet every Wednesday evening for a few hours and was for people with learning disabilities and difficulties. I loved this club and so did all of the staff and club members. It was a fun social club which I genuinely felt made a difference to people’s lives. One day sadly, due to the economic climate our funding was cut by the council, the club had to shut and the building was sold.
I am a great believer in action so when I saw a sign at a local country show, I knew exactly what I was going to do, I was going to start a Care Farm!
‘Care Farming is the therapeutic use of farming practises’, ’Care farms provide health, social or educational care services for individuals from one or a range of vulnerable groups’. These are two descriptions of Care Farming which I have borrowed off the internet. I have discovered there are no two Care Farms the same, all the ones I have seen are amazing and if I can achieve a fraction of what they have I will be a happy man. They all seem to grow people’s potential and also people’s smiles!
Armed with my new dream I started out with many meetings, viewing premises, chats with local residents, council staff and my bank manager. Due to working full time in the fire and rescue service and my finances I knew I needed to have support when I was at work and premises that needed a lot of TLC so I could afford it. I settled on a plot which came with eight acres, a barn as well as a couple of run down properties all in one package. I didn’t quite know how much work would be involved in the houses as in fact one was derelict; three years later the houses were complete and it was time to move outside to start building the dream.
To save a lot of typing and risking the danger of you falling into a coma reading this I will try to tell the rest of my story with photos and maybe