Here are a few testimonials from some of our very kind partners. If you have any questions about any of these please use the Contact Us form.
I have been visiting A Taste Of Paradise farm for 4 years now in my role as a Community Facilitator with FOCAS, a not for profit organisation providing support for people with disabilities. The people I support have had an association with Tim over many years.
The farm provides an environment in which people can participate and learn new skills in varying activities whilst assisting Tim in day to day jobs. Some favourite activities are mulching around the many trees at the farm, and potting up seedlings ready for the green house is always a favourite, as is feeding the animals especially the horses. Sometimes the participants eat more carrots than the horses.
Everybody has a role to play in completing each task. Seeing the sense of accomplishment and participants gaining new skills and growing in confidence is very rewarding for all involved.
Animals play a major role in our farm visits as we see participants interacting with them and forming a special bond. The only opportunity some people may have to experience farm life and interact with animals at this level is at A Taste of Paradise.
It is because of Tim’s dream to set up the farm and provide these opportunities so many years ago that we and others are able to benefit from these interactions, seeing firsthand the positive outcomes and experiences the farm provides.
Many thanks Tim.
To whom it may concern,
“A Taste of Paradise Farm” is a therapeutic farm environment located in the Berry region and it is my pleasure to provide feedback on our experiences utilizing this space and drawing on the support of their knowledgeable founder, Tim Francis.
Our agency provides out of home care services for children and young people living in foster care or kinship placements. These children and young people have experienced traumatic events where the effects of these have left them with complicated emotional and developmental challenges. One of the challenges of supporting our kids is providing creative and positive therapeutic experiences which can alleviate some of negative effects of trauma.
In our efforts to meet this challenge we discovered “A Taste of Paradise Farm”. We attended one of their open days and discovered an amazingly beautiful and protected farm located in Berry which was being run by a passionate and engaging person, Tim Francis. We were quickly excited about the opportunities this space could provide for our agency.
Drawing from research into trauma and group therapy programs we developed an animal assisted therapy program (AATP) for children aged 5-12 years. We have recently completed our pilot program and are happy to report the children loved it. The carers have given us feedback that the children have spoken highly of their time at the farm and are supportive of their children being involved in future programs. Additionally, schools in our area have supported our children participating in the farm, permitting them valuable time out of the classroom with comments of how lucky they were to have such an opportunity. We are currently reviewing the AATP and making minor changes to improve how we run the program and it’s our intention to continue to provide this program in 2016.
In addition to our AATP, we also take advantage of the mentoring program on offer at the farm. We have young people over the age of 12 years who participate in the mentoring program who look forward to their time at the farm each week. Thank you “A Taste of Paradise Farm” for providing an amazing and unique service for our vulnerable young people, we feel privileged to collaborate with you.
We would not hesitate to encourage other services to take advantage of A Taste of Paradise and all they have to offer.
South Coast Medical Services Aboriginal Corporation
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
I have worked with Tim Francis and the Taste of Paradise Farm for more than 10 years. Over this time Tim and his team have worked with more than 15 young people who have originated from organisations that I have been involved with. These young people have come from the Out of Home Care and Juvenile Justice systems. Some have been living with a disability.
I have found that this program has enabled young people to develop skills, grow in confidence and overcome life challenges. Tim has always provided a safe and nurturing environment for the young people in his care.
I believe that ‘A Taste of Paradise’ is an extremely valuable program for young people trying to overcome challenges and looking to establish themselves in life.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need more information about Tim and the Taste of Paradise Farm.
Human Service Consulting
To whom it may concern
It is with immense pleasure that I provide this Feedback for Tim Francis and the wonderful job he does with young, vulnerable and often troubled youth.
I have worked for many years in the disability and Out of Home Care sectors and have worked very closely with troubled youth, who do not fit into the community/societal norms that most people expect. In particular, I have found it very difficult to broker rewarding services that cater for 1-1 mentoring for young adolescents with disabilities. That is until I met Tim and the wonderful work he does at his farm ‘A Taste of Paradise’.
I would like to tell you about two young people who have benefited immensely from Tim’s services: I have been working for a number of years with a 12 year old boy James*. James has intensive, multiple disabilities with serious behavioural difficulties. James lives with a single female parent and finds it extremely difficult to socialise with other young people (particularly his own age), and also has limited interactions with men. James has tried engaging in group activities however he cannot cope in those environments. James is entering adolescence and requires a male role model to assist him to understand his emotions and behaviours, as well as having someone to talk to without being judged for his disabilities and behaviours. A Taste of Paradise Farm also provides the platform to have discussions and positive interactions with James in a non-threatening and encouraging environment.
James loves anything and everything to do with Farms, from the animals to the machinery. James engaged with Tim’s services immediately and looks forward to attending the Farm regularly. James’ mother has noticed considerable changes in his behaviours since starting at the farm, and James is now talking to other young people at school about the farm. This is a huge step from someone who would rarely socialise at all. James’ school has also noted a difference in his behaviour and allow him to finish school early to attend his sessions with Tim.
Connor* is a 13 year old male with Autism. Connor also has serious behavioural difficulties and struggles to interact in group situations and with peers. Connor has been unable to engage in sports and community social groups, as he becomes anxious and displays challenging behaviours in public (preventing him from participating without being judged by others). Connor’s only other passion is painting, however this activity sees Connor isolate himself for long periods of time. Going to the farm has assisted Connor to exercise in an open area, and interact in a positive and rewarding environment. Connor loves going to the farm, and this has provided him with many learning experiences and constructive skills for his future. Connor’s family have also noticed positive changes in his ability to connect with them at home.
As a Caseworker, I cannot praise Tim’s interactions with my clients enough. The work Tim does with these vulnerable people is amasing. I look forward to continue working as a team with Tim well into the future.
*Not real name
Linda Wiseham – Caseworker