Mental ill health
For people with mental ill health Rhubarb Farm provides a safe haven, a support network and a social life.
There is a weekly mental health group called 'Together We Can' which everyone is welcome to join, with lots of different activities to suit all moods and abilities.
Volunteers' comments about how Rhubarb Farm has helped them illustrate some of the benefits of coming to the Farm.
"I feel more confident and have made friends as I don’t have so many friends at home. It gives me a buzz being here."
"It helped me because one of the staff here had been in a similar position to me and reassured me. No-one seems to judge you here. It makes me feel good because I previously worked in a charity shop and I felt they were judging me but here they don’t. I look after my elderly father who is bed bound but still sharp and he thinks I’ve improved a lot since coming to the Farm – I’m happier and more content."
"For me it’s my mental health. Without Rhubarb Farm I would not be in a very nice place. It gave me something to get out of bed for, rather than sleep the day away. I thought I didn’t have anything after coming out of prison after a long time."
"I think both my physical and emotional health have improved. I do gardening and cooking and crafts. I like being with other volunteers and staff. I’ve made friends with others."
"It stopped me feeling lonely and helps me feel like I have a purpose and am being useful. This improves my self-confidence and self-esteem. Because it’s outdoor work I get exercise and fresh air, and it improves my physical and mental health. It’s encouraged me to build friendships. There’s always someone you can talk to."
"Gives me a purpose, and a reason to get up in the morning. It makes me feel like I’m giving something back, rather than being an outcast. I’d lost my wife who died from cancer and my job on the same day. I was her carer for 18 months until she died and I had a breakdown. Since I’ve come to Rhubarb Farm I can hold my head up high."
Volunteer Fiona, who is transgender, wrote: "It's made my life so much better with all the support they give, not only to myself with mental health problems, but everyone that comes to the Farm is given support for their needs. Never known a place like it."
Professionals and families have also commented.
Lorraine Plumb Facebooked: "I'm Nurse Practitioner at Shires Health Care and have seen the positive effects that Rhubarb Farm is having on people with mental illness. I personally point patients in the direction of Rhubarb Farm as do some of the GPs, and we also use the Farm as a resource for the student nurses placed at the surgery."
David Hopkins, a Community Mental Health Worker, wrote: "I have worked in mental health for many years, and when you meet someone for the first time, who never leaves the house due to anxiety, and you support that person into working at Rhubarb farm, and then you see the positive difference in that person a few months later, you realise that Rhubarb Farm makes a huge difference to lives, and should be a prototype for similar projects around the country."
The wife of a volunteer Facebooked the Farm saying, "a fantastic place of calm that has given my husband a feeling of self-worth and renewed confidence in his abilities, that had been eroded by mental illness. Thank you for an amazing job and long may it continue to grow."