The Apricot Centre is a social enterprise and farm based at Huxham’s Cross in South Devon, growing a wide range of Biodynamic and Organic produce. On the farm, the team runs a well-being service, providing therapeutic support for families and children, using the farm and nature as a co-therapist. The centre offers a rich experience for children and their families, providing mentoring for young people with specific needs such as special education, behaviour or mental health.
The ‘Root to Rise’ project seeks to help young people affected by the impact of leaving care, whether that is foster care, adoption placements that have broken down, or children’s homes. There is currently a gap in services for young people transitioning from care into independent adult living. These young people often slip through the net and can find themselves isolated or turning to addiction, negative thoughts and tendencies, or are unable to move forward in their lives because of their traumatic childhood.
Root to Rise is an intensive two-day course using sustainable development and therapeutically underpinned nature-based activities to playfully explore the practical and emotional resources required to navigate such transitions. Through the project, young people are actively encouraged to reconnect with nature, find their voice and become a part of a community of like-minded young people. Whilst helping to improve physical, emotional and mental health, the project combines well-being activities and therapeutic support in a nature-based setting.
During the two days there are opportunities to try out:
Whilst the project will provide an intensive two-day course, the team will also use this as an opportunity to engage young people in other services they require, as many young people identified would benefit from regular group or individual therapy. The project aims to be the springboard for young people into accessing support as an adult and making positive steps forward in their lives.
Thomas (looked after young person – living independently):
“… really good that we can have the opportunity to share our experience and improve things for other young people leaving care – liked being given the opportunity to make something out of wood and use the tools.”