Our first few visits of the year have been rich in variety. We welcomed Holy Trinity School from Crawley for their first ever Jamie’s Farm visit as our first visit of 2024 – despite some very wet weather, the young people really got stuck in to their tasks, helping to get the farm into ship shape for the year ahead.
St Paul’s Academy from South East London also joined us this month for their first week on the farm, braving an extremely chilly week to get out and about and get jobs done on the farm. The young people showed real resilience and determination, not letting the cold stop them from getting the job done.
This week, we have welcomed back Tendring Technology College from Essex to the farm, who have arrived with a real sense of determination and hard work. Despite our farmer Charlotte being away from the farm this week, the young people have made sure that we have got more done on the farm than ever, leaving everything in tip top condition.
Clare went to visit the young people and teachers from St Marks’ School in Southampton, who came to the farm at the end of December to see how they were getting on. She was blown away by the impact that the farm visit has had on the young people back in school, and the amazing way in which the staff have embraced the Jamie’s Farm approach across the school. We’re so excited to be able to see how Jamie’s Farm has really impacted on a whole school culture – it makes it all worthwhile.
It’s an exciting time on the farm as we prepare for the arrival of new life – though a combination of very wet and very cold weather hasn’t made for an easy ride! Charlotte is doing a brilliant job of making sure our animals are very well looked after in all weathers, and the team are mucking in to help too. In particular, we are delighted at the success of bale grazing – a new venture for the farm which allows us to keep the cattle outside for a lot longer over the winter, and is much better both for their welfare and for the farm as a whole. Charlotte has worked really hard on this, and we’re so pleased that it’s yielding results.
We’re very sad to announce that our lovely Visit Coordinator Matt Keedy will be leaving the team at Easter. Matt has been a brilliant and hugely popular member of the team throughout his time at Jamie’s Farm, and will be missed by all of us here. Matt makes a really positive impact on every young person he works with, and spending time with him has been a highlight for many young people. We wish him really well in his next ventures as he moves northwards.
We sometimes hear stories of young people who have come to the farm a little while ago, and it’s always lovely to hear how they are getting on. We recently heard from the social worker of a displaced young person who came to the farm speaking limited English and with a great deal of anxiety in many social situations. Since coming to the farm, he has thrived, starting college and making new friends with a new found confidence. His social worker commented : ‘I can pinpoint all the positive change from Jamie’s farm and the foster carer also commented on the change in him when he had come back. He has just grown from strength to strength.’
Our team are looking forward to the many groups to join us over the coming year, to the brilliant memories to be made and to the incredible impact our programme continues to have on our visitors.