Sunshine Coast-based Compass Institute Inc has opened the doors on new chicken coop ‘Cluckingham Palace’ which will offer 60 young adults with an intellectual disability the chance to learn about animal husbandry and egg collecting.
Providing engaging programs for young people with intellectual disability can be a huge challenge, but the hobby farm aims to have success combining egg farming with therapy. The farm’s operation sees 100 chickens lay up to 80 eggs a day and has led the team to start a new enterprise – doing an “egg run” to local businesses every fortnight.
The service also offers a range of other farming and gardening maintenance skills – from bee-keeping and jam-making to vegetable maintenance and recycling.
Managing Director of the Compass Institute, David Dangerfield, said the farm had strong therapeutic benefits.
"Part of the methodology behind the farm is to encourage these young adults to get out in the sunshine, get their hands dirty in the earth and do a hard day’s work,” Mr Dangerfield said.
“Physical exertion assists in relieving some of their anxieties which results in getting a good night's sleep, which is great for everyone.
“But we can't do what we do without the help of generous supporters like MAX Solutions.
“It’s really important to us that people can see where their contributions have been spent.
“That’s why we look forward to welcoming everyone to Compass Farm for the grand opening of Cluckingham Palace."
Managing Director of MAX Solutions, Deborah Homewood, said MAX employees were delighted to make a $1,000 contribution to the hobby farm to benefit so many people.
“We are always thrilled when we can give back to the community by making donations to organisations like the Compass Institute,” Ms Homewood said.
“We know the farm at Palmwoods provides great education and recreation opportunities for people with disability - and offers welcome respite for their families and carers, which is very important.
“We want to ensure that our donations have a direct, positive impact on the people, and communities we work with.
“Young adults on the Sunshine Coast will enjoy spending time with the chooks at Cluckingham Palace and we hope they will benefit from potential pathways to employment through the skills they learn.”