Independent Care Farm based in Woodbridge, Suffolk

We work with children and teenagers with mental health issues, learning difficulties, behavioural problems, looked after children and child carers.

Welcome to Paws for Thought Therapy.

We are an independent Care Farm based near the river Deben Woodbridge in an area of outstanding natural beauty. We work with children and teenagers between the ages of 8 and 16, with mental health issues, learning difficulties, behavioural problems, looked after children and child carers.

We offer a wide variety of activities based around the animals on the farm, wildlife and what we grow.

We provide a calm and caring space to encourage children to grow in confidence and skills.

An open, calming space.

We are based on a seven-acre agricultural site as a registered small holding, with many animals including donkeys, various goats and sheep breeds, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs, dogs and cats, along with some amazing animals offered by nature.

These include an array of Butterflies, Bees, Woodpeckers, Chaffinch, Grey and Blue Tits, Barn and Tawny Owls, Kestrels, Stoats, Pheasants, Partridges, Muntjack, Roe Deer, Badgers, Foxes, Rabbits and our favourite Hares!

Amazing Planting and Gardening.

We can also offer some amazing planting and gardening opportunities with a chance to plant seedlings ready to transplant into our vegetable beds.

We are currently growing strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries, blueberries, asparagus, potatoes, spring cabbage, cauliflowers, kale, sprouts, little gem lettuces, carrots, onions, peas, broad beans, runner beans and tomatoes.

Paws for Thought Therapy was just what a small group of our pupils needed. Following the return to school after Covid, these children were anxious and were experiencing a lack of self-belief and confidence. Using the animals as therapy, Kim’s professional but thoughtful approach quickly gained the children’s trust and in a few short weeks, there was a noticeable difference in their attitude towards themselves and their learning. Paws for Thought has given these children an experience to draw on in the future when their self-esteem needs a boost. I highly recommend working with Kim and her team.

SEN Teacher

Fully Trained Team.

With our fully trained team, we aim to provide a safe, calm and nurturing environment for young minds to explore and grow with confidence through an alternative experience to mainstream education.

Delivering Lasting Experiences


We are very lucky to have a variety of animals, some from babies and others rescued. ‘Dave’ the dog is our oldest member, at eleven years old and is a verified therapy dog, visiting children in schools to help with mental health issues. This is his favourite part of any week, when he can work with children. Our youngest animal team members are ‘Derick’ the dog, Dave’s apprentice and Lilly and Bella our kittens. We have a loving ‘Barbara’ the sheep who really thinks she is a goat and keeps all our Anglo-nubian and Pigmy goats in check!! We also have a great selection of chickens, including silkies, Polands and Pekins along with Indian Runner and Call ducks. We also have our beloved donkeys ‘Alan’ and ‘Trevor’. These came from an awful home and were in a bad condition and very thin but with love and time they are beginning to trust us and know they are safe.


There is always something to do in the garden whether it be weeding, planting, watering or general maintenance. We are very excited to be working with the National Trust to plant six hundred trees in December during the planting season. Hopefully the weather will let the children be part of this exciting experience and will be able to see the impact their help will have on the local environment in years to come. We also need to plant more wild flower seed in certain areas and pruning of existing fruit trees is a yearly job.


To help encourage the ever increasing range of wildlife, we will be making homes for hibernating animals like hedgehogs, squirrels and bats, maintaining hedge-lines and wild grass areas for animals to shelter in. Hopefully in the foreseeable future we would like to introduce honey bees in our woodland area and enjoy the benefits of local honey.


Team work is the most important thing at ‘Paws for Thought Therapy’. Children, teenagers and adults can all learn from each other with daily experiences on our care farm. Whether it be skills to look after animals or ourselves these will make the foundations of what we provide the most important. There will be three adult members to guide and support younger members and a maximum of eight children on site at one time. We will happily welcome 1:1 support if any of our members need it.

We heard of Paws for Thought just at the time that one of our young people was not in any education, we thought it may be worth checking out so the young person could keep some structure whilst we finalised his education plan, but the young person was very fond of PFT even from his first visit. So much so that we now are trying to ensure PFT remains part of his weekly timetable. The place itself is lovely, very therapeutic feeling and very calming. The young person has really enjoyed being able to spend time with the different farm animals and in particular the dog! The aim and ethos of the project itself seems very appropriate and could help many young people in similar situations to our young boy, to find some confidence and take pride in different things. The staff have been very friendly and approachable and I think it is a wonderful place for young people to enjoy and achieve.