Following a successful bid to the John Paul Getty Foundation the Farm launched the Moving-On project which specifically worked with individuals in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

Following a period of research and consultation with partner agencies and existing service users of the Farm, the Health and Social Care Team identified a gap in provision for individuals in recovery. Our conclusions identified a need to work with individuals, who may be in the latter stages of rehab, to enable longer-term abstinence and stability. From our experience it is the period long after in-patient detox, group work, counselling and supported housing when individuals can really struggle with sobriety. We based our research on the Motivational model which aims to enhance people’s quality of life when chemical-free to act as the inspiration to remaining substance-free.

The Farm offers a unique opportunity to be integrally involved with a supportive, working, healthy environment which is both paying back and contributing to a vital community resource. But the Moving-On project aimed to go further than this by offering an enhanced programme of volunteer opportunities and work experience backed up by training opportunities on Farm courses.

Referrals poured in from our partner agencies such as Bristol Drugs Project and Addiction Recovery Agency, demonstrating high demand. We had a strong team of site maintenance volunteers who were instrumental in their contribution to the Lottery / Groundwork project and who took on the new picnic site as their challenge. Volunteers also contributed to the café team and the animal care teams.

The next stage of the project was to build up the weekly support group, initially facilitated by the Community Involvement Team but evolving into peer-support. This further tapped into the strength of empathy and experience available within the user group.

The project was funded for three years and was a wonderful opportunity to provide consistent, supportive intervention which was holistic and sustainable, reintegrating individuals back into the local community for personal and greater good, and developing real skills in a working environment.