Jamie’s Farm works with schools to support vulnerable young people who are at risk of social or academic exclusion. Students are referred for:
• a lack of engagement in school, manifesting in low attendance and attainment;
• poor mental well-being and self-esteem issues;
• underdeveloped life-skills;
• challenges demonstrating positive behaviour, leading to negative relationships with adults and peers.
Schools bring groups of 10-12 pupils to one of our farms to take part in our week-long programme of Farming, Family, Therapy and Legacy. The young people stay in specially converted farmhouses which are cosy and homely. Throughout the week, they work intensively with our specially trained staff to build their self-belief and address some of the underlying issues which are causing challenges in school.
The Farming element of the programme gives young people the opportunity to get stuck in around our large, working livestock farms. Jobs include mucking out and feeding the animals, rounding up the sheep, caring for the horses and, for the lucky few, delivering the lambs. These are all real, challenging jobs with purpose, that have clear outcomes. This shows the young people the value of their hard work and builds their self-esteem.
The Family element runs through the whole programme, in the way we live and work together on the farm. We want to show young people what supportive, loving family and peer-to-peer relationships are like, as many haven’t had this experience. During the week, all young people will take part in both one-to-one and group Therapy sessions, to help them deal with issues which may arise through the week.
The experience doesn’t end when the young people drive out of the farmyard at the end of the week. We continue to work with schools and young people for at least six weeks after their visits, and sometimes a lot longer. This helps them bring the lessons they’ve learnt on the farm back to school and changes their behaviour in the long term.
We are very proud of the long-term impact our programme has. In 2017-18:
• 89% of young people who visited Jamie’s Farm had a higher mental wellbeing score after visiting;
• 80% of those referred for increased attainment showed an improvement six months after visiting;
• 66% sustained improvements in their engagement with school six months after visiting;
• 58% of those at risk of permanent exclusion before their visit were no longer in that category six months after visiting;
We can provide bespoke impact reports for all schools who visit Jamie’s Farm, which are often used in Ofsted inspections and when evidencing the impact of Pupil Premium funding. We also work with lots of Virtual Schools, Local Authorities, youth groups and charities.
At Jamie’s Farm, we are keen to meet the individual needs of children and staff and are happy to adapt our provision to meet specific needs. Please contact us to discuss any questions or suggestions you may have about a particular group.
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 hat enhances the ecology and woodland of the area.
Livestock includes a flock of Lleyn ewes and a smaller group of Suffolks, together with a small herd of Lowline Cattle and our Pedigree Welsh pigs. Our kitchen garden – with amazing views over the valley – provides us with as much of the fruit and vegetables as we can grow.