The first week of the school summer holidays saw us welcoming Kensington Aldridge Academy back to the farm, and it was great to see the young people getting stuck in even after a busy school year. As one of our longest-standing partner schools, the visit also marked the last Jamie’s Farm trip for their wonderful teacher Charlie Agullano, who has been leading trips for many years. We wish her all the best on her new adventures!
In August we welcomed back our friends from Big Leaf with a new group of young men from across the world. Despite some questionable summer weather, the week was full of energy, hard work and reflection – as well as some truly impressive football! We also worked alongside another local organisation – the Hummingbird Project – who brought our first ever all-female group of unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people. It was a very special week from start to finish, with the group showing a huge amount of care and supportive for each other. The food that was produced was truly unforgettable, and perhaps the best we have ever had.
A visit from Hillingdon Virtual School closed the term for us. Despite not knowing each other when they arrived, the young people left the farm with friendships firmly formed ahead of the new school year.
“B is a young person who has an abundance of energy but also low self-esteem about his abilities, specifically educationally being very aware he is ‘behind’. The week at the farm has been incredibly positive for him. He has had a chance to try lots of new experiences and succeed in them, from making pancakes for the group, to building a fire and successfully moving a large group of sheep. B is proud of himself.” – Support Staff
In a slightly wetter summer than we had hoped for, the farm has still been flourishing and has been as busy as ever. We’re really pleased with our lambs, which have started to go to market, and we’re also delighted that some of the lambs born this year will be staying on the farm with us as breeding ewes, helping grow our flock. Our cattle have also been selling well, thanks to Charlotte, our Farm Manager’s hard work and that of all the visiting young people. The team are also chuffed to have five gorgeous new piglets, who will be spending lots of time in our woods.
Our work with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and young people has hugely developed across the charity in recent years, and this is largely thanks to the wonderful work of Laura, our Therapy Coordinator, who leads this work not only at Lewes but across Jamie’s Farm. Laura works tirelessly to ensure that everyone at Jamie’s Farm has the training and understanding to provide displaced young people with a wonderful and nurturing experience, and to develop long-lasting relationships with our partners, who work with these young people on an ongoing basis. Thank you for steering this strand of our work with such professionalism and care.
Finally, we’re delighted to share that a new Apprentice will be joining the Lewes team from September – more details to follow soon!