— About —

Heathfield Farm

The project to develop Heathfield Farm is being led by Devon Link-Up, strongly supported by the National Trust, who own the farm.

We aim to solve a big problem: less than 10% of people in Devon with a learning disability were in paid employment in 2018.  Partly because of that, people with learning disabilities have markedly poorer physical and mental health than their non-disabled peers in the county.

We provide meaningful and purposeful day activities that are ambitious for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, that lead to people developing genuine community connections, growing in self-esteem, self-belief and confidence, and moving into volunteering or paid employment, thus becoming less reliant on support services. We are supporting disadvantaged people to become empowered and autonomous and to achieve things in their own way, in their own time and on their own terms.

Our key aims are:

  • To be user-led; ie co-designed with and substantially led and delivered by the people whose needs our project is designed to meet.
  • To provide training and employment opportunities primarily, but not exclusively, for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, filling a significant gap in current provision.
  • To be open to the public, to encourage involvement by all members of the community and to promote a fully integrated model of society.
  • To improve community health by providing opportunities for accessible healthy activities and growing food.
  • To host a diverse network of interlinked enterprises trading under the umbrella of the farm, all connected to food, farming, horticulture, the countryside and people’s enjoyment of it and all employing people with learning disabilities and/or autism.
  • To fund ourselves primarily through earned income rather than through grants.
  • To provide a landscape rich in wildlife.

At the moment we are piloting activities and making detailed plans for the future, thanks to the generous support of the National Lottery Community Fund.

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