21 October 2016

Animals flocked to the doorstep of Sheffield’s sheltered accommodation as part of a brand new idea to bring the experience of a farm to those who struggle to get out.

Sheffield City Council and Heeley City Farm’s ‘Farming comes to you’ travelled to Springwater House in Hackenthorpe Wednesday afternoon (19 October), the first time this has happened.

Residents enjoyed getting out of their flats and feeding and petting mini goats, ferrets, guinea pigs, ducks and rabbits. All were provided and supervised by Heeley City Farm.

Lee Pearse, from Heeley City Farm, said: “We often take it for granted when we visit the countryside, local parks, animal farms and even owning a pet. As we age and our lives can change for many reasons these things can be lost and it is easy to become isolated, even in a sheltered living environment.

“Farming Comes To You aims to support the continuation of some these happening and we are very happy and excited to be able to work with Sheltered Housing for the first time with taking our animals to different settings”

Springwater House is one of 30 council-run sheltered accommodation schemes that support 1,500 residents.

Cllr Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “Farming Comes To You is a great idea which gives elderly residents the chance to do something a bit different with other people.

“It’s just one of the things we do in our sheltered housing schemes to help people interact with others and enjoy life.

“It is important that our older generations do not feel isolated. There’s a lot going on in Sheffield to help people with this. I hope everyone enjoyed the farm animal visit.”

For three hours the 40 residents were able to enjoy the first of four mini farm events and meet people who live in the area.

There will be three further sessions taking place before the end of the March in different sheltered accommodation across the city.