Bringing horticulture to those with autism
On Tuesday 20th July, thirty people gathered to celebrate the formal opening of the Linden Farm Allotment in the lovely setting of the Springbok Estate in Alfold. Guests included several of the trust funds who have kindly donated money for this facility, plus a number of Surrey County Council staff and councillors, various parents, staff from Choice Care and representatives from the local community including Alfold Parish Council. Particular mention should go to Cath Stamper, Chief Executive of Care Ashore, who alongside her staff, has been so helpful in allowing the ten young people from Linden Farm to get enormous benefit from this much needed horticultural facility at Springbok.
The photo shows three residents from Linden Farm cutting the ribbon alongside Sally Lawrence, Chair of The Simon Trust, plus a member of the Choice Care staff.
Horticulture is very therapeutic for people with severe autism and it is something that they can do, even if it involves just planting a few seeds or putting a potato in the ground. The sense of achievement to dig up the resulting potatoes and then cook them for their evening meal is enormous.
Linden Farm is a new care home for ten young people with severe autism, and it opened in late 2019 thanks to a considerable and welcome investment from Surrey County Council. The Simon Trust is a local charity that provides facilities and equipment that the Council may not be able to afford, and the charity hopes that for the future that the Council will encourage more activities to be set up on the six acre site that is Linden Farm. A centre for autism excellence in Surrey is much needed, and this would be a huge success for Surrey and the local community.