I remember that visit very well, and have lots of fond memories of being there- not to mention on Jamie’s Farm was the first time in my life I’d ever eaten a duck egg and I remember clearly going to collect it the same morning before coming back to cook it for breakfast! The staff all put so much into us as troubled children and from my experience it really did pay off. When returning from the farm, my behaviour in school and attitude towards life took a drastic change for the better. I managed to gain 5 A*-C grades and go on to study a Level 3 BTEC extended Diploma in Health and Social care and finish with a pass. I truly believe that was due to the rehabilitation and dedication of the Jamie’s Farm staff I met while there. I’m now a mum to a 3 year old girl and twin boys whom are 8 months old. Due to my changes as a teen that was guided by Jamie’s farm I believe it has made me able to instill the right principles and morals into my own children today, and am forever grateful for the experience everyone looking after us on the farm brought to me.
Jamie’s Farm was a life changing experience for me and taught me so much about personal relationships, and just calmed me down an incredible amount. I’m so grateful to have been part of it. When I left Jamie’s Farm I built relationships with my parents again and we now have a solid pure relationship! I finished school with a B+ in English and A in drama. Which was amazing considering I didn’t think I’d get any GSCEs at all. I am currently 22 and a manager in a restaurant and very soon hoping to achieve assistant business manager! I am doing extremely well and I’m very happy. All thanks to this experience!
The group that I went with mostly had anger issues including myself. At school we were looked at as bad, aggressive and rude kids when really and truly we weren’t, we weren't given the chance and no one really cared or understood us. On the Farm, I learnt patience, having to feed the animals before having food ourselves felt selfless and felt good. On the farm I could tell we all felt understood and listened to by the farm and everyone, we had the chance to be ourselves without feeling labelled, the farm is one experience I will never forget and will always be grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of it.
Even though it was a whole new experience for me, when we arrived at Jamie’s Farm all the staff made it feel like home. Even though we had never done anything like this before, we still enjoyed every second of it. It helped me calm my emotions down. Before I was a very angry person and seemed to be mad but about nothing at all, and they helped me realise there’s more to life than just anger.
I am currently an apprentice at Jamie's Farm Lewes. I went through the Jamie's Farm programme on a residential through my school in 2013, and without it I probably wouldn't have made it through school. After my visit, I was selected for the Ambassador program where we gave the charity feedback on the programme, and helped at open days and charity events - sharing our progress and how it is so beneficial. From this I am now doing an apprenticeship, working at Jamie’s Farm Lewes. Here, all the skills I have learnt and collected over the past few years from Jamie’s Farm are now being used to help influence the young people going through their own experience now. During the week I enjoy working across many areas within the farm from helping in the kitchen to craft sessions, to the hike which is the highlight of the week!
I came to the farm around 6 years ago and when I first came I was basically mute. Thanks to Jamie's Farm I started to come out of my shell. I remember vividly the first time I came, I remember waking up, the room I slept in, every walk I went on and of course the bonfire at the end of the week and none of it was negative. The farm was somewhere I felt instantly at home, somewhere without the white noise of traffic, the intruding street lights at night and streets so packed that even sardines would find it cramped, the farm was somewhere I felt like I could be myself without others judgement. None of it would have been possible if it wasn't for the amazing staff, always there for you, even long after your visit. Jamie's Farm isn't just a charity, it's a family.