Woodend Farm offers a unique farm life experience that allows residents to sample a wider caring environment through active participation in delivering care to farm animals, promoting positive engagement in therapeutic work. The service provides first class living quarters for 5 children and young people, providing three on suite bathrooms and two lounges, as well as a panoramic surrounding of lush green fields and trees.
Needs of Young People
Young people with ADHD, as well as attachment and mental health disorder benefit greatly from the therapeutic nature of the farm. All of the young people in Woodend Farm present as high risk, are exceptionally vulnerable and are in need of the greater protection available at the service.
Individuals experiencing issues of anxiety and trauma as well as resulting social and emotional behaviours are assisted to learn through direct experiences, with physical activity viewed as being a key element of farm life.
The family environment, routines and strategies are in line with what works best for individual young people and staff ratios reflect the needs of the young people, offering 1:1 and 2:1 support, and include a 24 hour waking service.
Assessment and Planning
Woodend Farm facilitates robust internal assessment, taking full account of the SHANARRI model, and also ensures young people access relevant external agency assessment, such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) as required. On the basis of this careful assessment, including risk assessment, and existing plans Gateway staff, along with representatives from the placing authority and parents/carers and the young person, agree suitably challenging outcomes. Care Staff and education staff work closely together to agree shared needs, consistent strategies and approaches, mindful of the unique residential setting which provide personalised learning opportunities.
Our team at Woodend Farm place a strong emphasis on engaging with children and young people and having them identify their living situation as no ordinary care setting. What sets our practice at the farm apart is the focus on possibilities rather than limitations in order to foster empowerment.
A core practice within Aspire Scotland and in particular at Woodend Farm is role modelling to encourage positive interactions in tackling issues resilience and social engagement. Our team are skilled and experience in providing positive transitions for young people from previous placements, through careful and inclusive planning for the young person.
It is hoped that fuller social integration for children and young people can be supported through a combination of active farm living and participation in wider social activities and interests. Children and young people will benefit from access to hill walking and to the nearby woodland, as well as hands on opportunities to support the animal husbandry that they witness daily.
Achievements on the farm are used as opportunities to celebrate the contribution of everyone who works and lives there. In addition, young people access a wide range of community activities in the local areas of Symington and Kilmarnock, these include:
- Davis & Pyramid Snooker Club.
- Citadel Centre with swimming/gym.
- Local Football Clubs.
- Beach Park.
- Heads of Ayr Farm Park.
- Culzean Castle.
- Zumba, Clubbercise.
- Laser quest/bowling/go-karting.
- Dean Castle.
- Whitelee Windfarms.
Three of our young people staying at the farm have brought their own animals to the farm, including hamsters, chickens and rabbits. In an employment capacity, our newest resident is participating in the design and development of the landscape as the farm continues to evolve in line with the imagination of all of our young people.