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Stories | Jun 2022

Olivia’s Story: It does something, it really does

Olivia came to Jamie’s Farm with one of our longstanding partner schools: Kensington Aldridge Academy. Olivia visited shortly after the Grenfell Tower Fire; the devastating effects of which were being felt deeply by the pupils, families and staff at the school, and the wider community beyond.

Olivia was struggling with her own mental wellbeing at the time. She was having self-confidence issues and finding it hard to navigate her friendships: “Before Jamie’s Farm, I was starting to slip into a really dark and low, upsetting state because there was stress from schooI and in my personal life. I didn’t know how to voice what I was finding difficult and upsetting. I felt like no one really cared.”

Olivia came to Jamie’s Farm by chance, because somebody dropped out. She was very hesitant and sceptical at first, believing that as a ‘London girl’, she wouldn’t fit the farm environment. Within 10 minutes of arriving, she and a friend had helped a ewe to give birth, and delivered their first ever lamb. It was a sign of what was to come. Olivia battled with homesickness at the start of the week, but the relationships she built with her teachers and peers helped her to overcome this and began to thrive given a trusting and supportive environment. Olivia went on to become a Jamie’s Farm Ambassador, participating in a year long programme and visiting every Jamie’s Farm site in the process.

“I mention Jamie’s Farm at least twice a week to my friends! I was such a troubled kid and I think about it all the time. I am now working in the Natural History Museum part-time. From September I’m doing a Performing Arts degree and I can’t wait, I’m so excited and ready. I’m so proud to be going to do what I love. I want to stay in touch with Jamie’s Farm because I just think it’s been so beneficial to me – it does something, it really does. I think it’s the air!”

Olivia’s mum says…

“Olivia’s stay at Jamie’s Farm had an overwhelmingly positive impact on her life. She came back glowing with pride and joy and newfound faith in herself and her abilities. This generation lives in a world ruled by technology and to have the opportunity to spend a week without it, suddenly enabled her to look deeper into herself. Her favourite part was the “can do” attitude championed at Jamie’s Farm, which she brought with her and it serves us as a great reminder that she indeed can.

We felt incredibly proud when she was chosen as a Jamie’s Farm Ambassador. The staff at Jamie’s Farm are attentive, non-judgmental and truly understanding of the needs of our young people. I salute and thank them for changing the future, one child at a time.”