“I’ve been surrounded by animals and the outdoors all my life, and I know how much of a positive effect the environment can have on an individual’s wellbeing,” Jude Allen says when asked why she founded Farming For All in 2009.
“Growing up, I was exposed to care networks and became involved in getting clients of various social services outdoors. The benefits were obvious.
People who had spent years, sometimes lifetimes suffering from social exclusion were moving outside, learning how to take care of a garden or animals, and opening up to others and themselves again.”
Care farms and allotment projects give individuals a social setting in a calming environment that can help teach them their own worth and build self-confidence.
The varied stimulation of the outdoors, the use garden tools, the caring for and maintenance of farms, looking after animals, and completing tasks without assistance – for many people, these activities are a path back to themselves.
In 2009 Jude launched Farming For All, and she’s never looked back. The service now reaches hundreds of clients from a variety of backgrounds: offenders, people with a disability, vulnerable young people, older people suffering dementia, and others who simply benefit from being in a farming context.
Jude is passionate that farming is ‘For All’ – without exception.