Social Farming - the practice of offering activity, and in some cases, work experience on family farms and crofts as a form of social support service - is emerging in parts of Europe, and is commonplace in less formalised contexts in many rurla areas. Farming is a key industry within the NPA area and SoFIA seeks to increase farm diversity, by using farms as an innovative public service delivery mechanism. The project is aimed at people with additional support needs in remote and rural areas and will?provide local access to beneficial outdoor activities.
This preparatory project:
* seeks evidence of the scope and extent of social farming and other similar diversification (e.g. green gyms, education) within the NPA region.
* seeks project partners across the NPA region, including farming organisations, and health and care services providers.
* will define the target groups and the potential for impact on, in particular, disadvantaged young people, women and indigenous groups.[CP1] Groups might include disabled adults, autistic chldren, people with mental helath problems.
* develop a technological approach for impact measurement, with a focus on mental health and well-being.
* will conduct an evaluation of social farming in the NPA area.
* will establish whether innovation (priority Axis 1) or entrepreneurship (priority Axis 2) is the best focus.
* will identify the service delivery agencies and stakeholders best suited for involvement in the main project.
* will prepare a main project application.
A main project would seek to co-ordinate activity at a transnational level to identify best practice, produce a toolkit to assist remote and rural farms and crofts to set up Social Farming enterprises and establish an evidence base of health and wellbeing impacts on individuals, by using technology to collect information, as well as the wider employment and community impacts.