We’ve written a lot about our co-farmers some of the things they’ve done and also said how people get referred to our service. We realised, however, that we haven’t yet told you what happens in those early days when they are new to the farm. We posed this question to Emma, the centre manager and this is what she told us.
The first week for all of the new Co-Farmers is all about getting to know the farm and understanding how to keep themselves and each other safe.
Each group works through an induction checklist. This looks at personal safety, health and safety in the workplace, communication and general housekeeping issues.
The induction is a mix of practical activities and group discussions. Co-Farmers around the farm and are taught how to lift safely by practicing with buckets, barrows and bales. They learn the importance of lifting in pairs wherever possible how to bend knees and keep your back safe.
All co-farmers get to hear the farms fire bell and learn what to do in the event of an emergency.
Personal hygiene is really important when you are working with livestock so a discussion is had about why it is important, the risks and how to reduce those risks.
During the first week Co-farmers will also learn about important issues such as what kind of behavior is expected on the farm and what to do / who to go to if you are worried or unhappy about something.
The induction is usually completed within the first one or two sessions.