£20,000 award as a joint funding initiative between the Ronald Wates and Allan Wates Family Committees
Jamie’s Farm work in partnership with schools and other educational organisations to select young people who are at risk of exclusion, and specifically aim to improve low self-esteem, poor behaviour, disengagement with school and underdeveloped soft skills, such as resilience, motivation, determination, respect and honesty. The majority of young people who benefit from the programme come from deprived inner-city areas across the UK: – London, Birmingham, Bath, Bristol, Birmingham, Wiltshire and Kent. To date they have worked with over 2,700 young people and demonstrated significant and sustained improvements in children’s soft skills such as self-esteem and resilience, fewer fixed term and permanent exclusions and re-engagement with educational life.
This is achieved through a week-long residential combining ‘family, farming and therapy’ for up to 12 young people (between the ages of 11-16), accompanied by 2-3 members of staff at either the Wiltshire or Herefordshire sites. They provide young people with real jobs and tangible outcomes which are specifically designed to develop existing personal character qualities and help them to reach their potential. Children are involved with the daily running of working livestock farms including: cooking, gardening, carpentry, log chopping, art, horse care and a daily walk. The week is punctuated by 1:1 & group therapy sessions.
In order to ensure the changes last, participating staff and children are supported with the transition back to school by Jamie’s Farm staff. Support provided includes a preliminary visit before the residential programme, to ensure buy-in to the experience, and a follow-up visit six weeks afterwards to ensure lasting impact.
Jamie’s Farm are working with Accenture and Teach First to explore innovative and cost effective options which will impact even more young students and their staff, without compromising on quality. Setting up a second site in Herefordshire has proven a vital blueprint for how to approach expansion onto future sites. As a result, Jamie’s Farm aim to have acquired (either through purchase or lease) a third site by January 2017; where they will begin running visits by March 2017.
This award will contribute to the running costs of the Herefordshire site for 2016/17 which will enable them to focus on setting up this third site and allow them to help up to 500 young people at risk of exclusion.