News and Views

UCC launches social farming course

4 Nov 2019
For the past three years Kerry farmers Breeda & Patrick O’Sullivan have been participating in social farming

A new programme to provide farmers with the skills to work with people with disabilities has been launched by UCC. 

UCC’s Adult Continuing Education and Applied Social Science departments in conjunction with the Skellig Centre for Research and Innovation came together to offer a Certificate in Practice Support in Social Farming. The one-year programme will provide students with the skills to work with people with disability both on social farms and in a community setting.
 

“We listened to the farming community and they wanted a course that gives them the confidence to work with people with disabilities” commented Belinda GascoigneManager of the Skellig Centre for Research and Innovation. Social Farming helps fosters social inclusion and it is inspiring to see a passionate community rapidly growing around social farming in Ireland.”

Rural Ireland has been getting lonelier and lonelier

For the past three years Kerry farmers Breeda and Patrick O’Sullivan from Glencar, have been participating in social farming with their namesake, Breada O’Sullivan. Every week for the past three years Breada travels from Killorglin to the O'Sullivan farm to spend time with the family and help out with the animals. 

Rural Ireland has been getting lonelier and lonelier and as one thing after another closes, social farming has drawn our community together. Breada has become part of our family and you just have to look at the scrapbook she keeps of her visits here to see how much it means to her. Every week I participate in UCC’s new course and it has helped build my confidence and understanding”commented Breeda O’Sullivan.

The UCC course was officially launched by the Minister for State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, at the Skellig Centre for Research & Innovation (Skellig CRI), which an outreach facility for higher education, research and entrepreneurship based in the Skellig Region, in Cahersiveen, County Kerry. 

The growth of social farming in Ireland

Social Farming has seen rapid growth across Ireland and it is currently operating in most counties in Ireland. Kerry Social Farming is run on a voluntary basis and currently operates in 19 farms across Kerry. 

For more on this story contact:

Belinda Gascoigne - Manager, Skellig Centre for Research and Innovation (Skellig CRI) / skelligcri@ucc.

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF

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