Building on environmental wellbeing with focussed workshops
The farm was already running its own wellbeing programme, Farm Clwb – a club for young people aged 8-18 years who are experiencing any mental health issues and volunteer on the farm to help with their wellbeing.
They wanted to enhance the young people’s understanding of their mental health with a series of mental wellbeing workshops facilitated by external experts that could provide a bank of knowledge and tools to support their learning. In addition, they needed support with peer mentorship training to enable their older “Farm Rangers” to offer help and advice to younger volunteers or those new to Farm Clwb.
Bespoke peer support and mental health workshops
Platfform Wellbeing delivered 2-hour workshops, based on co-produced material from our SOM programme:
- Mental Health Awareness Workshops
- Workshops on Peer Mentoring
These workshops provided a safe space for the young people to explore different topics and wellbeing strategies and share their thoughts, ideas, tips and tricks through a series of engaging and accessible activities.
The Peer Mentoring workshops were delivered to new and existing Farm Rangers to introduce or offer refreshers on how to support their peers with their emotional wellbeing. These sessions are designed to build confidence and empathy within the young people and create a network of wellbeing champions across an organisation.
Building confidence and knowledge around emotional wellbeing
The activity-based tasks allowed the young people to be fully involved with an active role in the training which we know ensures a greater impact on the participant’s learning. As Cerys Jones, Senior Child and Youth Worker at Swansea Community Farm confirms,
“It was lovely to see them using the card activity to complement each other in the sessions and I’ve seen them take this forward into their work around the farm as they are saying to each other ‘great job’ and boosting each other’s confidence”.
Expanding on the benefits of the training she adds,
“The workshops have been able to help the young people with different coping mechanisms. They’ve been able to understand themselves a bit more and been able to help each other”
“It’s definitely helped our peer mentors, our farm rangers. They have come away from it having a bit more understanding of each other and when they are speaking with their peers, taking that group off on their own, they can see what might be going on and feed that back to staff”.
Swansea Community Farm has received a great deal of positive feedback from their young people regarding the workshops as Cerys explains,
“I would recommend the training to other organisations. One of our young people came straight from the training and said it was the best thing they had ever done! They came out with a load of positive energy ready to put what they had learned into practice”.
The farm plans to run the mental health workshops throughout the year, year on year. This will benefit their new volunteers starting at the farm and offer refresher training to existing volunteers and peer mentoring workshops for those wishing to progress to work as Farm Rangers.
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