Countrymen UK

Meeting the challenges of men by providing access to  outdoor spaces

What’s happening?

We’re 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.

Through a network of Care Farms, we are engaging with men who have previously had an affinity with the outdoor environment through their work, leisure activities or just a love of the countryside, but who are now facing the challenges of isolation because of deteriorating health or social conditions.

Our slogan, “Getting back to being you” reflects our belief that getting back to farm and 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.”

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What we do

We help Care Farms 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

Countrymen UK is a Lottery Funded, Future Roots initiative

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OUR VISION

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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.

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