Meeting the challenges of men by providing access to outdoor spaces
what’s happening right now?
Countrymen UK’s Covid 19 Outreach Initiative
Covid 19 has affected everyone, especially those who are already vulnerable, and especially older people with underlying health conditions.
Throughout this difficult time we recognised that it is essential to maintain positive emotional health and wellbeing support and, in some areas of the country, we know that our service may be the only one available or relevant to many people.
Countrymen UK’s Outreach Initiative has now been adopted by twelve members of the Countrymen UK Network of care farms. This means that support is now available from twelve sites across England, Scotland and Wales.
15 dedicated staff
The initiative is being supported by fifteen dedicated Outreach Specialists who will be making contact with organisations and individuals in their areas with the aim of providing support services and activity-based stimulation to men with long-term health conditions and their family carers. This includes keeping in touch with phone calls, setting up web pages, distributing newsletters and video material and donating food and other essentials to men and their family carers.
David Drysdale, Project Manager at Countrymen UK said, “Everyone is aware that older people can be the hardest hit by situations like this. But we’re determined to do what we can for everyone affected by Covid 19 in the communities we serve.”
Take care and stay well.
The Countrymen UK Team
Countrymen UK (CUK) now has a growing network of care farms and gardens, stretching from the south of England to the north of Scotland. If you’d like to be put in touch, or if you’d like to be part of the CUK Network, please get in touch.
The CUK Network is meeting the challenges being faced by men who find themselves isolated because of deteriorating physical or mental health, or changing social conditions, whether they are from rural areas or urban.
The men we support normally have an affinity with farms, gardens or other outdoor environments through their work, leisure activities or just a love of the countryside.
Our slogan, “Getting back to being you” reflects our belief that getting back to farm, garden, countryside environments and green spaces, overcomes isolation and has a positive impact on physical health and mental wellbeing.
“It’s great for Countrymen and it’s great for their Carers.”
Our farm and countryside environments help to meet the challenges being faced by men who find themselves isolated because of deteriorating physical or mental health or changing social conditions, which may include:Dementia : Parkinson’s : Stroke : Isolation : Injuries : Anxiety :Depression : Bipolar : Post Traumatic stress : Alzheimer’s:Chronic Pain : Cancer : Heart & Lung Conditions : and others
How can we help?
We help Care Farms, gardens and others…
- to establish and develop a Countrymen UK Group through a process of Social Franchising and training
- to provide the range of quality services and activities that make a Countrymen UK Group the success it deserves to be
We help potential Countrymen and their Carers…
- to find a local Countrymen UK Group close to home
- to get the quality of service they expect an we help?
Tom R., a Countryman Club member, says;
“Being back on a farm with the animals, the smells and the feel of familiar things is all I ever wanted… and meeting up with new friends from similar backgrounds is a massive bonus. If there wasn’t a Countrymen’s Club, I’d hate to think what I’d be doing today – what my life would be like without this.”
Jenny P., a Carer, says;
“The Countrymen’s Club provides me with respite from my responsibilities as a Carer but it has also changed my relationship with Robert. He is outdoors and getting involved in what was once his daily life, as well as some new interests. We now have new things to talk about and I know that he’s being given the chance to do things he thought were only in his past. I also get to rest and relax, knowing that he’s in a safe and stimulating place.”
OUR MISSION 2017-2020
To share our successful Countrymen UK model with other Care Farms. To ensure the provision of a healthy and active programme of activities for men who are currently not accessing farm or countryside environments due to isolation, poor physical or mental health, and the lack of specialist care farm provision to support their needs. To conduct proper research into the impacts of Green Care on the men we are engaging with.
That all men, regardless of their mobility or cognitive levels, are given the opportunity to participate in healthy, active and social activities in a safe and supported countryside or farm environment to the benefit of their physical and mental wellbeing.
Spreading the word as well as the model
The model for Countrymen UK was inspired by the success of the Countrymen’s Club at the Future Roots Care Farm in Dorset.
We’re taking this successful model and sharing it with others in the UK, giving them the tools, training and support to get their Countrymen UK Group up and running.
Backed by the BIG Lottery Fund
The BIG Lottery Fund has provided funding to help us roll out the Countrymen UK programme to those who are able to adopt our successful model and to work with us to develop it further. Additional funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation is helping to support the delivery of the Countrymen UK Training Programme.
Like to know more?
If you are interested in a Countrymen UK Social Franchise, we’d love to speak with you further and arrange for our Countrymen UK team to answer any questions and send you our Social Franchisee Application Pack with additional information.