This September, we welcomed Bridge Malvern for the first time, which is a special school. It was a joy to work with a school whose ethos aligns so closely with ours. The young people particularly enjoyed a beautiful hike along the Gare, overcoming unknowns and anxieties as they went. We welcomed back long-standing partners: Bishop’s of Hereford and Castle Mead Academy. In this harvest season, these young people have thrown themselves into trying new foods and cooking meals for their peers. The abundance of produce within our gardens is thanks to all the young people who have engaged in gardening sessions across the year, and by our fantastic team of tireless garden volunteers – thank you.
This month the Hereford team have reflected upon the impact of Jamie’s Farm for all young people. One young person who had been chosen to join a trip as a reward for exceptional behaviour in school, benefitted hugely from the therapeutic aspects of the farm. She found a safe space to confide in adults, show vulnerability and challenge herself in new ways. The ways that the farm can impact a variety of children never fails to validate the power of farming, family and therapy and the magic it brings. It’s especially powerful to see these strategies used back in the classroom, as one visiting teacher reflected this week:
“I really like the concept of check-ins. It could also be used as part of interventions / in-house counselling etc. I like the shout-outs too, as they are an immediate way to celebrate success. These could be used at the end of lessons.”
This season on the farm we have started to use a new platform, SoilMentor. This will allow us to collect data to track the impact that our regenerative practices are having on our land. Sharing such tangible impact with visiting young people, many who have never visited a farm before, is a fantastic way for them to understand the purpose and importance of the farming work they are doing whilst with us.
Lastly, we’d like to celebrate Wenni, our lead housekeeper at Hereford who is moving on. The passion and rigour that she has brought to the role has not only made the farm look more loved, homely and welcoming for visiting young people, but it has also hugely improved the efficiency of how our buildings function behind the scenes. We wish you all the best!