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The Apricot Centre

Who we are 

The Apricot Centre is a sustainable farm and wellbeing service for young people and their families. We specialise in the wellbeing benefits from actively engaging with land, food, creativity and nature. 

Who we support 

We support children, adolescents and families who are dealing with the complex life circumstances that are common in adoption, fostering and care as well as those with special educational needs.  

Alternative Education Provision

The Apricot Centre offers full or part-time alternative education provision and therapeutic mentoring for young people aged 6-18 who are struggling to attend school and/or are experiencing social and emotional challenges, including anxiety and depression.

Our approach focuses on activities on our farm and experiences in nature. Nature based activities support children and young people to: 

  • regulate stress and emotions
  • lower anxiety 
  • build confidence and sense of competence 
  • enhance healing from physical trauma 
  • access a state of mind for curiosity and learning

The young people who access our service are matched to experienced therapeutic mentors who work alongside the child and their family to develop a plan of focused activities to meet their emotional and behavioural needs. We use therapeutic interventions and measurable approaches to strengthen their inner resource in order to build confidence for everyday family, school and personal life. 

Our programmes focus on the development of coping skills in order to start their education journey, rather than providing traditional study. Activities include  growing/harvesting food, cooking, caring for chickens or cows, arts, crafts, music, forest school and bushcraft activities. 

We believe the most effective approach to promote positive behaviour, social development and boost self-esteem is to offer one-to-one and small group sessions that support young people to identify coping strategies. Evidence suggests that once a young person has learned to regulate their emotions, increased attendance and attainment soon follows. 

Programmes run for 12 weeks at the farm and the timetable is based on the individual child's needs.  We are also able to provide weekly mentoring at the farm and can support transitions to onward provisions.  


Who to contact

Contact Name
Rachel Phillips
Contact Position
Education and Wellbeing Managaer
01803 762253

Where to go

The Apricot Centre
Huxhams Cross Farm
Rattery Road

Other Details


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
£35 per hour
Prices start from £35 per hour


Age Ranges
From 6 years to 18 years
Other notes

What the provision offers 

Support for learners with low to moderate special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

We support young people with a variety of needs. We are not specifically a SEND focused provision but our team can work with Education Psychology reports and Education, Health and Care plans. 

Developing self esteem, self confidence and resilience to be able to access further alternative provisions or return to a mainstream school 

Our sessions are designed with young people and their families to give them the time and space to explore their emotions in a creative, safe and inspiring environment. Together we develop a toolbox of coping strategies to enable them access further alternative provisions or education. 

Preparation for adulthood 

Our service empowers young people with coping strategies as well as many practical and transferable skills for adulthood and independent living including growing, harvesting and cooking food. We work with young people who are anxious about leaving their parents/carers for short periods of time. Together we start the process of growth into more independent young adults. 

Managing transitions 

We support periods of transition by working closely with young people,  parents and  agencies. Through regular discussions we ensure transitions are as positive as possible in order to reduce anxiety and build confidence for the next phase of a young person’s education journey. 


Progress is monitored through regular discussions with the young person,  family and commissioners to reflect and plan for the next session. Communication is important to make changes as appropriate and to celebrate progress. We can report to multi agency meetings to share progress towards outcomes if required and will provide regular written reports. 

Inclusion Information

Wheelchair Access


Special Needs

Has Provision

Dietary Needs

Has Provision

Cultural Provisions

Has Provision

Local Offer