We’ve had a real variety of visits over the past month. We welcomed our first visit from Greenwich Virtual School – a fabulous bunch of looked after young people who really got stuck in to the farm and made some great friendships along the way. We also welcomed East Sussex Virtual School and a group of young people from across the world for a brilliant half term trip, complete with delicious food, laughter and a lot of cricket. We’ve also welcomed back two of our longstanding partner schools in Brakenhale School and Bohunt Liphook School, both bringing real enthusiasm and joy to the farm. In the hot weather, we’ve been working hard to make sure that the garden, the animals, the farm and all of us are all hydrated, and we had lots of help from our visiting young people during those weeks.
We were delighted to host our first-ever Open Day at Lewes on Saturday 10th June – thank you to everyone who came along. It was brilliant to welcome almost 500 people through our doors to see the farm, learn more about our work and sample some of our delicious food. The farm was looking fabulous thanks to the hard work of the whole team. A particular celebration must go to our fabulous Food Coordinator Tim, who cooked up a storm along with a trusty team of helpers, and to all the volunteers who helped out on the day. One of the highlights of the event was seeing some of the young people who had been on the farm in the past talking to visitors about their experiences – it was wonderful to hear their reflections and what the Jamie’s Farm programme has meant to them.
This month we want to celebrate Laura, one of our fabulous Therapy Coordinators. Laura is ever-present on the farm as a wonderful person for our visiting young people to speak to about any challenges they may be facing, and as a fantastic source of fun and joy for every visiting group. She’s also amazingly helpful out on the farm and gets stuck in to any job, no matter what it might be. Laura leads the charity’s growing work with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children, and does so with extraordinary care, thought and professionalism. We are very lucky to have her!
The experience of coming to the farm can be challenging for different young people in different ways. With our garden and polytunnel blooming with fresh produce, it’s been fantastic recently to see lots of young people pushing themselves to eat new types of food that they wouldn’t normally try. For some of our visitors, even eating a lettuce leaf can be a huge challenge – and we’ve been delighted to see them giving this a go.