Rotary Club of Shrewsbury GUEST SPEAKER – Edward Dugdale
Edward Dugdale with President Pat McLaughlin At the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury dinner meeting on 31 August 2016, our speaker was Edward Dugdale who told us about Tickwood Care Farm. He explained that he and his wife Anna decided to use theirShropshire farm to benefit disadvantaged children and young adults often with mental or physical disabilities, and so in 2004 Tickwood Care Farm was born. It started basically with a Forest School, a speciality of Anna, with input from a Dutch student helper about care farms in the Netherlands. Having started simply enough it has continued to expand and diversify greatly -- with activities such as gardening (in the walled garden), woodland management, woodland walks, even including a zip wire capable of carrying wheelchairs, and a kitchen where the students can gain practical experience. There is also the "Llama Hut" providing accommodation for 4 people, typically families with a disabled child. The children and young adults who come to the farm (from various organizations, including the specialist school Severndale), apart from being outside in the fresh air, take part in many of the activities on the farm and gradually gain self-esteem and self-confidence. Mr. Dugdale cited the example of a young boy who, before coming to the farm rarely spoke and showed little interest in anything, slowly started to talk more having first asked if he could push a wheelbarrow. Young offenders have also experienced the farm and of the 65 who attended only 5 have reoffended. The farm is still expanding but is limited by the amount of fees and donations it receives. Mr. Dugdale finished his talk with a short video showing the activities and facilities at the farm. Summary report by Rotarian Sam Herd Tickwood Care farm is one of President Pat’s charities and a visit is being arranged – www.tickwoodcarefarm.org
The Rotary Club of Shrewsbury learned about Tickwood Care Farm from Edward Dugdale on 31 August 2016.