….that’s just one of the powerful benefits of The Digging In Project.
Some of our service users have been facing a lot of difficulties as they have had to move on from their accommodation. Such upheaval can be very unsettling and emotionally exhausting.
Since we started this project, we have noticed that the fire-pit is a place where people relax, open-up and share emotions that they have been bottling up. There’s something about the flickering flames that brings a calmness and serenity to people – we can’t explain why but we just know it seems to work.
The animals also have healing properties. One of our pygmy goats is extremely calming and is happy to be held and cuddled.
We also have seven therapy horses which can have the most amazing impact on people’s mental well-being. The horse-equine dynamic provides powerful opportunities as they evoke response and engagement.
Everyone perceives the horses differently. Some are happy to be with them and very keen to handle them. Others think the horses aren’t interested and don’t want to be involved. The horses’ response in turn gives us information about the service user and this dynamic helps people move beyond the constraints of talk-only therapy.
Some people find joy in the more physical jobs and we always have plenty for them to get stuck into. As you can imagine, having lots of animals means there is lots of feeding to be done, they need moving to different parts of the farm and of course the glamorous job of mucking out. The opportunity to make a real contribution impacts dramatically on a person’s sense of self-worth and the positive power of this for someone for whom life is harsh cannot be underestimated.