Dedham Therapy Farm covers 14 acres and houses many farm animals which are used in our animal therapy programmes. The Farm currently offers individual or group animal therapy to service users with Autism, anxiety, learning disabilities, low self-esteem and lack of confidence and other challenges.
Service users help with feeding the animals, cleaning out, grooming and other daily tasks. We also offer woodwork, gardening and building opportunities, giving those who access the Farm the ability to be a key part of our project’s growth and development.
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) promotes mental, physical and social well-being. The human-animal bond allows strong connections to grow and develop, with animals offering unconditional acceptance and affection.
It is well documented that humans have kept domesticated animals for thousands of years, providing humans with companionship. Animals are used for therapeutic purposes as they tend to be free of prejudice when interacting with people (Calcaterra et al., 2015). Animals used in therapy are known to have a natural tendency to bond with people and seek aﬀection and interaction with the client (Nimer & Lundahl, 2007).
Many people can benefit from the therapeutic value of the human-animal bond. Research shows that time spent interacting with animals can help in lowering blood pressure, relieving pain, reducing anxiety and engage them in therapeutic activities through meaningful occupations such as; animal husbandry, feeding, grooming and stroking.