Life Swap Experience of 'Phones' for 'Farm'
Jamie's farm, which is set in the stunning Sussex countryside just outside Lewes, offers young people the chance to escape from technology and social pressures, and enjoy the beauty around them, whilst working together and challenging themselves on a real working farm.
The Charity encourages students to swap late nights and lie ins for early morning rising to feed and muck out the animals, and after a busy day of outdoor activities the students help prepare delicious and nutritious meals which are enjoyed around a farmhouse table chatting to each other.
This unique residential experience, and follow up programme, combines farm, family & therapy, enabling disadvantaged young people to better thrive in education and see their futures more positively.
MET College Pathways students found themselves completely out of their comfort zone, which is exactly what it is designed to do! The week away challenged their fears, encouraged them to tackle new things and helped them develop their confidence and self-worth.
One of the attending College staff said "The effect on the students was palpable, transforming them into beaming, happy, effervescent individuals – it was pure magic and truly amazing to see. These young people were feeling unsupported and ill equipped for the adult world. They are now taking tentative steps towards adulthood, holding onto the positive role models they observed at the farm. It reminded them of their self-worth and above all taught them to take time to smile at each other and engage with those around them face-to-face!"
The week was filled with hands on experiences with animals, the land and the environment, as well as giving time learning about each other. The staff team at Jamie's farm, which includes professional youth workers and therapists, have the incredible skill of listening and enabling the young people to articulate their feelings and behaviour. They encourage the students to challenge themselves, evaluate their future choices and make the changes needed to be their best selves.
On returning from the residential one of the students said "I learned new skills and made new friends. I personally think everyone needs to just turn off their phones, switch off electronics and go away for a week in the countryside and enjoy nature more. I used to have to fake smiles but after opening up at the farm now I smile naturally, and it feels amazing".
For more information about Jamie's Farm please visit www.jamiesfarm.org.uk