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Blogs | Jun 2024

May update from Jamie’s Farm Waterloo

We’ve had another busy half-term at Waterloo, fully booked with visits from Marylebone Boys and Paddington Academy in partnership with AllChild (formerly West London Zone), Haringey Learning Partnership, Mulberry Woodside Academy and Oasis Academy Southbank. Alongside helping clean out the animal pens, moving compost, sowing seeds and planting out vegetables, there have been a couple of bigger projects undertaken – young people from across the schools helped rejuvenate our tired old picnic bench, sanding it back and painting it a lovely new cornflower blue and white. Students from Marylebone Boys were also really interested in trying some graffiti art, which they did on a huge section of corrugated card left over from a previous event, helping create a new sign for the farm. 

It’s been really interesting to hear young people and school staff reflect this term on how Jamie’s Farm gives them opportunities they can’t easily access in school, such as chances to get to know each other better outside of school systems, and for students to be more physically active, creative and to enjoy a variety of different stimuli. One student reflected this term that “I like the peace and the space, I can walk around. I don’t get bored here, I like chatting to the staff. When I’m sitting in the same space for 7 hours I get bored and then I make trouble”. Similarly, a visiting school staff member reflected that “When we are in school we don’t get the chance to know the students at all. Here at the farm, we can get to know them. I can’t believe how calm they’ve been here”. 

We’ve also heard how coming to the farm has helped young people’s confidence and social skills. At the end of a six week farm programme, a member of school staff shared about a young person that, “He was extremely nervous before starting as he was not close to any of his peers that were joining him. During each session I could see his confidence slowly build up and towards the end he stated that he has made new friends because of the experience and has learnt a ton of new skills”. 

We are excited to be filming content for a 10 year anniversary film celebrating this milestone for Waterloo. In July we’ll be inviting a variety of people to Waterloo for a special event to recognise the farm’s 10 year birthday and to explore what partnership means for charities, as Waterloo has been an example of multiple partnerships in action from the start, most notably between the charities Jamie’s Farm and Oasis and the on-site architect’s practice Feilden Fowles.  This partnership has benefitted so many within the community and beyond, providing the space for young people to discover new skills, boost their confidence and recognise their achievements. A celebration is very much in order.