A farm in south-west England gives its workers a new lease on life. The agricultural business known as the Severn Project employs many recovering drug addicts, former offenders, mentally-ill, and other potential targets of social exclusion.
Steve Glover founded the social enterprise known as the Severn Project in 2010. Together with his team of helpers, they supply 80 restaurants in addition to local wholesalers, and their weekly production is 500 kilos of mixed leaf salad.
Severn offers paid positions, volunteer opportunities, and internships to individuals seeking structure in their daily lives and to those who want to make positive contributions to their communities.
Similar projects in England are underway. Cultivate London supplies work and educational opportunities to unemployed youth. They grow edible and decorative agricultural products and sell them in the London area.
One of the greatest returns on participation in farming projects is the feeling of getting your hands in the dirt and knowing that you have an active role in the production of your own sustenance. Now that’s empowerment.