A community farm in Swansea that was on the brink of closure less than 12 months ago is celebrating the news that National Lottery money will open up opportunities for its community. Thanks to National Lottery players, Swansea Community Farm have received £99,992 to support new people in the community with mental health difficulties into volunteering and training opportunities with the help of the animals at their farm.
One volunteer, Paul Abraham, who attends the Farm, had to give up work due to a work related injury. He said: “I love the farm – it’s a great, inclusive place. It’s helped me get my mojo back after a huge change in my life, I lost my job and was dealing with health problems – I was in a dark hole. Volunteering at the Farm has helped me climb out of that hole, at one point I couldn’t see a way forward. I’d always been so busy and was then so bored and felt useless because I wasn’t using my skills. Now I look forward to Thursdays, to volunteering with my muckers. It’s my day to be me I’m not a husband, dad, bampy or dog walker. I’m Paul! I’m achieving stuff, giving something back and will now get to help more new people get their mojo back too”.
Speaking about the grant received, Volunteer and Training Manager, Kate Gibbs, said: “I am chuffed that the National Lottery Community Fund has decided to award this grant to the Farm. The Farm exists because of, and for, volunteers and to improve wellbeing. Our community is the inspiration for and driving force behind the new project. It has been a tough year – a year ago we were seriously facing closure but thanks to the volunteers’ determination and hours of graft and positivity we are still here and on the up. I’ve experienced for myself that volunteering at the Farm can change’s lives and it is fantastic to have the opportunity to build on this by getting volunteers trained to be able to support others with their health issues.”