Nestled above the stunning Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean is our third rural site, Duffields Farm. Our first location in Wales, Offa’s Dyke Path runs down the middle of our land and the English border hugs a stream along the farm’s boundary.
The farm is run on a small scale and in a sustainable way that enhances the ecology of the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean next door and we are surrounded by amazing wildlife and nature. Livestock includes a flock of Lleyn ewes, together with a herd of Lowline cattle. As well as our chickens, turkeys and ducks, there are Pedigree Welsh and Gloucester Old Spot pigs and a house Jersey cow for our own dairy needs. We have working dogs to help us around the farm. We have two hardy ponies, too, who work therapeutically with young people. Our kitchen garden – with amazing views over the valley – provides us with a large proportion of the fruit and vegetables we eat.
We have a small hillside woodland, which visiting young people help us to manage for our firewood and for green wood projects too. We’re enjoying getting to know the local community and are very grateful for the warm welcome we’ve received. In 2020 we have our busiest ever year of school visits on the farm.
Jo was brought up on a working family farm near Brecon and considers herself very lucky to have spent a fun filled childhood in a beautiful setting. After leaving school, she studied Music at Cardiff University and then went on to qualify as a teacher.
She has taught for over twenty years, working in a variety of Welsh primary schools. For the last 8 years, Jo worked in an inner city school in Cardiff. Her main responsibilities included leading additional learning needs and family/community engagement across the school.
Jo believes that every child deserves to be given the opportunity to reach their full potential in a safe and caring environment, where learning experiences are engaging and enable each individual to achieve. She is very much looking forward to joining the Jamie’s Farm family and her job at the Monmouth Farm will bring a wealth of exciting and new opportunities, further developing her passion for education and farming.
Dan is a born and bred country man who has spent all his life working and living in rural Wales and England on farms managed by his father. For 12 years before joining Jamie’s Farm he ran his own business in the Cotswolds specialising in farm maintenance, conservation management and farming cover. Along the way his picked up lots of skills, made great friends and cemented his passion for all things country.
In more recent years Dan been looking for a way to share his knowledge and help others to enjoy the beauty of the countryside and the experiences that he has been lucky enough to have had growing up on a farm. Jamie’s Farm Monmouth is the perfect home for this and he looks forward to welcoming each group of young farmers. He is responsible for the running of the farm and looking after all the livestock with the help of his trusty dogs.
Beth graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Occupational Therapy and has since completed a postgraduate certificate in Sensory Integration, and trained as a Sleep Practitioner. She has worked as a therapist in schools with children and young people with autism and language and communication difficulties, and most recently within a children and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) supporting children with learning disabilities and behaviours that challenge. As therapy coordinator, Beth leads group meetings and has personalised therapeutic conversations with all young people who visit the farm, in order to help them piece together pathways for their future success on returning to school. Beth grew up in Monmouthshire and loves being outside; she spends her spare time walking her dogs and horse riding.
Since graduating with a degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, Sam has worked with young people in many different roles, including as a science teacher, a mentor to teenage girls, and a tandem front-rider for children with disabilities. Across all these roles, Sam has seen the power of positivity and fresh air to engage young people both physically and emotionally.
Sam is an avid fan of nature and the outdoors, which she feels can inspire both reflection and playfulness. She is particularly interested in how wildlife and farming can benefit each other, a concept she explored during her recent PhD at the University of Bristol. Sam can usually be found covered in mud on her mountain bike and loves cooking hearty, nutritious meals to fuel her outdoor adventures. Her appetite for producing fresh, home-cooked food is something she shares whilst cooking with young people at the farm.
For the past seven years, Dave has worked as a teacher in both inner-city London and a rural Somerset school, including in a pupil referral unit. This has given him a real insight into the difficulties young people can face and provided him with effective strategies and a real passion for helping them to help themselves.
Having previously worked as a car mechanic, book editor, street fundraiser, hospital caterer and on the decommissioning of a nuclear power station, Dave has an eclectic set of experiences on which to draw in his role, which helps him to quickly build rapport with a wide variety of young people. Having grown up in Essex and Devon and studied English at the University of Southampton, he has travelled widely, including trekking in the Himalayas and cycling across parts of Europe.
During her time studying Spanish and Business Studies at Edinburgh University, Ellie stumbled across Jamie’s Farm and became an avid supporter of the charity. She joined Teach First as a teacher of Spanish and English in London, later moving to Bristol to teach in an Alternative Provision school specialising in the social and emotional wellbeing of the young people. Before joining team Monmouth, Ellie volunteered at Jamie’s Farm on numerous occasions and was able to see the powerful impact of the experience on the young people that came to visit.
Horses have always played a central role in Ellie’s own life. They have been a source of calm and provided space for reflection and connection and she is passionate about sharing this with the young people and facilitating therapeutic experiences with the horses. Ellie loves living in the countryside in a low impact way and exploring the outdoors come rain or shine!
Although born and bred in London, Elly has always had a great love of the outdoors and of animals. With a childhood home complete with multi-storey guinea-pig hutches, numerous cats, a dog, rabbits and a tame pigeon, it was inevitable that Elly would, one day, end up in the countryside.
After completing her degree in English Literature and having a family, Elly worked in schools for a number of years. Following her family relocation to the Welsh/English borders, she started volunteering at Jamie’s Farm where the combination of young people enjoying the outdoors and experiencing the joy of working with animals, provided the perfect place in Elly’s eyes!
Elly joins us at Jamie’s Farm Monmouth to work with the visiting young people in the gardening sessions, but can also be found finding any excuse to help with the animals whether that be bottle feeding lambs, moving cows or mucking out the hen house!
Bronny grew up in the Wye Valley and lives on a small farm. After school Bronny studied Zoology at Liverpool, then lived in France for a few years. Keen to do her bit for the planet Bronny returned to university to study Conservation Science and then worked in Africa.
Bronny has now returned to her roots and delivers horse sessions at the farm. She loves to introduce young people to the wonderful Millie and Scamp, witnessing the young people’s confidence with the horses grow, and to see how quickly they are able to work in partnership with each other. Bronny feels so lucky to live in such a beautiful place and has a passion for sharing the countryside with those who come to visit.
Ceinwen is a part-time ornamental gardener and transcriptionist who gets great satisfaction from taking care of both exterior and interior settings, as well as providing hospitality and welcoming visitors to her local area, the Wye Valley. She has previously worked as a cleaner and housekeeper in schools, libraries and at Rockfield Studios near Monmouth. She is responsible for preparing for and welcoming the weekend holiday let guests, as well as coordinating the transition between school visits within the Jamie’s Farm accommodation.
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