Health and Wellbeing in our Communities
At Oasis we understand that wellbeing is not just the absence of disease or illness. It is a complex combination of an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and social health factors and it is strongly linked to happiness and life satisfaction. We know that a lack of social networks and support, and chronic loneliness, produces long-term damage to physiological health via raised stress hormones, poorer immune function and cardiovascular health. Loneliness also makes it harder to self-regulate behaviour and build willpower and resilience over time, leading to engagement in unhealthy behaviours. We know that mental health and personal well-being are tied up in the quality of our personal relationships. Forming connections and a sense of community with neighbours and the various groups that make up our identity all contribute to our well-being. For this reason all our Hub projects and programmes have relationship at their heart, connecting people with each other.
Spotlight on...Oasis Hub: Lord's Hill - Down to Earth Farm
Down to Earth Farm is the only community city farm in the Southampton area. Established in the 1930’s by the Local Authority on a 5-acre site, the farm operation transferred to the Oasis Trust when the Trust assumed responsibility for creating a new secondary Academy in Lord’s Hill. The Farm is now a charity, entirely run on a not-for-profit basis.
Home to goats, sheep, pigs, a whole range of different feathered friends, bearded dragons, a hedgehog, a crested gecko, a blue tonged skink, corn snakes, a tortoise, hissing cockroaches, land snails, stick insects, a degu, guinea pigs and rabbits! The farm provides a positive place with nature at the heart, where people from all communities are supported to enhance their learning, well-being and life chances. Through the provision of supported activities for children and adult learners with disabilities including animal care, crafting sessions, woodwork, cooking, gardening and farm life sessions, Down to Earth seeks to reconnect people to each other, the animals, the environment and the support services they need, whilst having fun!
Often described as a sanctuary, the farm is a special, transformational place offering restoration both to volunteers and visitors alike. The farm has over 50 volunteers and through therapeutic engagement with plants, animals and social interaction with people from a diverse range of backgrounds, several volunteers have described they have felt part of a family, their confidence has grown, their mental health has improved … their lives transformed.
I love being able to look after the animals and meet nice people, I leave all my problems at the farm gate