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10 Years of Green Care

At the Isokumpu sheep farm, Green Care work activities are organized for people with intellectual disabilities and for mental health rehabilitation.

In 2016, Isokumpu was accepted into Valvira's register as the first Finnish care farm. This was followed by the right of use of the LuontoHoiva quality label, which was granted to Isokumpu by Green Care in 2017. We were also the first in Finland to be granted that.

During autumn 2020, we piloted the Sykkyrä project with ELY funding. In this project, we ran farm camp activities for small groups of middle schools in Sievi and Kannus. The project progressed well and its effects are already visible. We hope that such an activity will become a permanent practice.

Green Care activity


Green Care activities maintain and improve people's well-being and quality of life. The work focuses on nature-based methods using animals and the natural environment. The Green Care activities in our facility are carried out in collaboration with a psychiatrist and a psychologist, who are responsible for the professionalism of our staff and also act as consultants. The Green Care activities are part of the services provided by the work and day care centre.

Green Care means using nature, the rural environment and the farm to provide rehabilitation and welfare services. It aims to improve people's well-being (mental, physical and social) and quality of life.

Green Care encompasses a wide range of methods used in a purposeful and responsible way. Green Care also has a preventive dimension. Activities are often located in nature or on a farm, but elements of nature can also be introduced into urban and institutional environments.


Research into the regenerative benefits of nature has been conducted since the 1960s

Seeing and experiencing nature in one's immediate environment provides opportunities for empowerment and, in consequence, for an increase in overall human well-being. Research has shown that activities related to nature, plants and animals enhance people's sense of existence, inclusion, sense of community and sensory experiences. They also calm, refresh and improve mood, as well as improve concentration. The financial investment in implementing Green Care is comparable to the production of more traditional activities.

Green Care and Isokumpu



Green Care activities have been produced at the Isokumpu sheep farm since 2013 in cooperation with various operators. There is ample evidence of its effectiveness in terms of customer well-being.
Several theses have been written on the activities and we have participated in several projects investigating the effectiveness of Green Care activities.

Green Care activities support independent living and social interaction, aiming to strengthen clients' various daily life skills and their ability to manage their own lives.


Green Care can be applied to different client groups. The longest-running activities we have provided are day activities for people with mental health problems and people with intellectual disabilities. Services can vary in scope, content and duration from client to client. The organisation of day activities is always based on a service plan drawn up with the client in mind.

In addition, we offer a farm's environment and our expertise in the form of activity days for primary school children and young people with substance abuse problems. As the main production of our farm is sheep farming, the environment is mostly sheephouses with their animals. Of course, the farm's horses, pony and several dogs are also used as care animals. The presence of the animals and working with them has emerged as the most important thing, according to all the reasearch and the feedback we have received. Without the sheep farm, we would not have a suitable environment for such activities.

Green Care team in Isokumpu

 

Involved in the activities are psychiatrist Kirsti Sikkilä and her husband, psychologist/psychotherapist Hannu Sikkilä. Kirsti Sikkilä is responsible for the professionalism of the farm and acts as a consultant. Hannu Sikkilä, in turn, acts as a work supervisor and trains our staff to meet the needs of new clients.


The farm employs Satu and Pasi Kumpulainen, entrepreneurs from Isokumpu, Ella Rahja, operations manager, and Konsta Kumpulainen, a student on an apprenticeship in rural studies.


More information:

https://www.gcfinland.fi/

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