Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 17:03 UK

Former soldiers offered farm help

A Derbyshire farm is to help former soldiers who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.

The farm, on the Chatsworth Estate, will take up to 30 people at a time.

They will gain qualifications by learning dry-stone walling, black-smithing, hedgelaying, woodwork and equine therapy.

Elizabeth Hill, who runs the courses, said she had already seen people with mental health issues experience proven benefits from working in the fresh air.

Life skills

"We've had 10 years of having people on our farm with mental health problems and learning disabilities and children who are in danger of exclusion from school and we've done these sort of things with them and we have been very successful.

"And we see no reason why this shouldn't work with ex-service personnel."

Former servicemen and women will be referred to the rural life skills courses on the 200-acre Game Lea farm by GPs and hospital doctors.

They will be able to access additional therapy should they need it and will also get help applying for jobs.

There are plans to extend the farm to provide more accommodation, so those on residential schemes can stay there between nine months and a year.

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