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Council leader to urge CCG rethink on care farm funding cut

PUBLISHED: 11:15 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:33 20 April 2018

Iris Van Zon, who runs Clinks Care Farm in Toft Monks. Picture: Nick Butcher

Iris Van Zon, who runs Clinks Care Farm in Toft Monks. Picture: Nick Butcher

The leader of Waveney District Council has pledged to write to the region's care commission asking them to reinstate funding for an innovative scheme.

Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee will write to the region's care commission after funding for Clinks Care farm was slashed. 

Picture: James BassWaveney District Council leader Mark Bee will write to the region's care commission after funding for Clinks Care farm was slashed. Picture: James Bass

With the matter having been highlighted by Graham Elliott, councillor for Beccles North, Mark Bee expressed support for Clinks Care Farm and said he would urge Great Yarmouth and Waveney clinical commissioning group to reconsider a decision that has seen its funding slashed.

The scheme, based in Toft Monks near Beccles, offers a work experience-based programme called ‘farming on prescription’ which is designed to help participants overcome mild to moderate mental health issues.

However, the farm has been left with a £23,000 funding gap after Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG opted not to renew its contract.

The scheme offers a work experience-based programme designed to help participants overcome mild to moderate mental health issues.  Picture: Nick ButcherThe scheme offers a work experience-based programme designed to help participants overcome mild to moderate mental health issues. Picture: Nick Butcher

“I’ve been a great fan of the care farm movement and supported Clinks with money from my locality budget some years ago,” said Mr Bee. “That funding helped to get things going, but it was the people running the farm who did all the hard work.

“There is tremendous value in doing this kind of practical work and addressing mental health issues at this level. Since Clinks started, a number of care farms have spawned around Suffolk.

“This is not the only care farm in Waveney and, in my opinion, the commissioning group must look at the way they are supported; I’ve got the backing of Peter Aldous on this and I will be writing to the CCG.”

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