South Yorkshire Community Foundation Funding
Whirlow Hall Farm Trust are delighted to have received £4,599 from the South Yorkshire Community Foundation COVID-19 response fund.
Whilst Whirlow has, along with many other activities on the farm, suspended those elements of its education programmes that restrictions currently prevent, , we continue to run our Post 16 alternative programme “Whirlow LIFE” (Learning In a Farming Environment) for young people with additional needs.
The programme has been adapted to run remotely and we have two staff, (the “Two Sarahs” as they have become known) who are supporting students and their families via email, phone calls, video calls, and occasional home (well, garden) visits. The needs of each learner and their families vary so each individual has their own tailored package of support. The aim is to continue to reduce anxieties and isolation, and to encourage engagement with learning activities.
Mathew has been coming to Whirlow for 18 months. His favourite animals in the farm are the pigs. He works very hard and is especially good with a wheelbarrow but can turn his hands to anything. He also loves doing crafts and doesn't mind being out in the rain. Mathhew has become a lot more outgoing and confident since coming to Whirlow and seeing his cheeky side come out always makes everyone at Whirlow smile!
His mum Joy told us that the new remote learning, “Whirlow Chat”, has enabled Matthew to remain connected to his normal world during the lockdown. “He has really enjoyed seeing all the animals and familiar faces and it has provided him with reassurance that Whirlow Hall Farm is still there and waiting for his return.
Up to now he has enjoyed crafting flowers, learning about sheep, planting sunflower seeds and was particularly proud of his Rainbow art and Dance poster.
Of all Matthew’s day provisions he has enjoyed the activities of Whirlow Hall Farm the most during this period of lockdown. I think the reasons for this are that the sessions are short and can be revisited; the activities have been about things Matthew loves animals and craft, and with familiar faces delivering the activities at just the right level.”
The South Yorkshire Community Foundation supports community groups with grant funding, to help people facing hardship and disadvantage and those working to improve the communities they live in. They connect people who care about South Yorkshire and have the means to invest in its future with the community groups striving to build stronger and healthier communities.
Ben Davies, Whirlow’s Chief Executive said “The funding from the response fund will support us to continue to run this programme which is providing a much-needed link to a place where those youngsters feel safe, included and happy. We are aiming to keep the young people connected to the farm and reassured we are still there for them, and that once we are safely able to do so, we will resume activities on the farm.”