A Wigan family farm is looking for volunteers to help look after its collection of furry and feathered animals.
Greenslate Community Farm, in Billinge, is offering to train people in how to care for, feed and clean out its array of livestock from sheep to chickens.
The not-for-profit organisation, which runs courses and activities for disadvantaged children and those with additional needs, is urging people to reconnect with nature and spend time outdoors whilst caring for their community.
Neil Hickson, who works at the farm, said: “There are so many benefits to working with animals.
“The main thing is that it’s therapeutic. There’s something grounding about being with animals, it’s the same with the growing side of the farm too.
“It’s a good way for people to reconnect with the Earth and get outside.
“There is tons of evidence to show the benefits of being outside. People tend to love working with the animals, it makes them feel good.
“The other side of volunteering is how much it benefits the community.
“At Greenslate Farm we don’t charge an entrance fee, apart from special events.
“The idea is that people come and bring their children along, pre-school mums bring their youngsters to visit the pigs and chickens and in the school holidays we are really busy.”
Aside from young families, the farm is also used by people with learning difficulties, who also play their part in looking after the animals during the week.
“It’s part of the care farm’s duties to look after the animals during the week,” added Neil.
“It’s weekends we really need people to come in and help out.
“We are offering training programmes so volunteers know what they are doing.
“That way they can feel like they have ownership of the role.”
The training sessions are already proving very popular and the next one, on Sunday, has already sold out.
However, due to popular demand, Greenslate Farm staff will be releasing another date in just a matter of weeks.
Anyone is invited to sign up for a space with a view to volunteering a few hours a month.
For more information about the volunteer roles or to find out about future training sessions visit www.greenslatefarm.org.uk/volunteering