During April there were 450 ewes due to lamb at Broadaford farm. The two groups from Providence House worked hard in the lambing sheds every morning topping up the feed, water and straw, they witnessed that wonderful moment when the lambs are born, moved the young families out to the fields and generally marvelled at creation. A wonderful experience for us all.
This Easter we took a group of 8 very excited young people aged 9-12 years old who live and attend schools in Battersea, who are known members, regularly attend our junior clubs and community events held at Providence House.
We travelled to East Shallowford Farm for a 3 nights, 4 day residential visit, where they had the unique experience to live life on a working farm and to act as minivets at a neighbouring farm during lambing period. Providence House has extensive experience with such (challenging)children and have confidentially gained and maintained positive relationships. Staff can and do have positive influences which gives these children the opportunities and experiences that other institutions may shy away from. Children growing up in Battersea are given the opportunity to experience life in a natural environment away from the everyday trappings of shops, phones, TV and electronic games!
East Shallowford Farm provides a sense of home away from home, allowing the children to see beyond their own concrete jungle, a chance to think and breathe in a safe and tranquil place, away from noise pollution.
East Shallowford Farm has a positive impact on the health and well-being of those who come. Children are free to explore their natural environments without fear. Brought up on convenience food, children realise what home cooking is and what is involved. They appreciate where their food comes from.
Their learning comes under three headings: respect all things, keep each other safe, learn something new! They reflected on each of these each day.
There are studies that suggest that children with autism, other spectrum disorders or ADHD can experience lowered blood pressure and better cognitive and communication gains when around animals. Children are more likely to be more active and willing to go outside more, while around animals and exposed to green spaces. Something which East Shallowford Farm will continue to provide.
On this Lambing trip residential, the children will leave knowing the importance of good nutritional management to a successful lambing season, what happens before and after the birth of lambs.