Project information

Farming, Family & Therapy

Our powerful mix of Farming, Family & Therapy is equipping vulnerable children to thrive in school and see their futures differently. Children come to our rural farms near Bath, Hereford and Monmouth to live, work, play and grow, and our therapeutic approach is woven into everything that they do.

1 year

Charity information: Jamie's Farm

Jamie's Farm logo
  • Need


    99% of young people permanently excluded leave school without the qualifications needed for work, and most end up in prison. This bears a huge cost on society, not least to themselves. Low self-esteem, poor behaviour, a lack of soft skills and engagement all contribute to this, often stemming from a variety of complex challenges at home. Disadvantaged children, in particular, lack opportunities to develop soft skills and behaviours that will help them during their school years and beyond.


    Jamie’s Farm reduces exclusion by boosting self-esteem, behaviour and engagement in 11-16 year olds. High demand now sees us host weeklong residentials at three farms. Children are given real jobs with tangible outcomes, such as farming, gardening, cooking and horse work, alongside therapeutic 1:1s and a robust follow up programme. Our Therapy Coordinators help children see their futures differently and develop new behavioural patterns, seeing them return home with renewed confidence and vigour.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve behaviour to develop a purposeful and positive attitude to learning and adult interactions.


    » Therapeutic 1:1s allow time and distance from normal life to share challenges that trigger poor behaviour, vocalising rather than acting on them.
    » Our trained staff work with each child to relate their experiences on the Farm into an ability to build new positive behavioural responses.
    » Written reports for each child help parents and teachers to support them with the changes they have committed to make.

    What success will look like

    Our monitoring will show an improvement in the pupils referred for poor behaviour, measured from pupil voice, school data and interviews, collected 6 weeks and 6 months on.

    Aim 2

    Improve self-esteem to boost confidence and make the most of opportunities in their lives.


    » Making young people integral to the running of the Farm by providing real jobs with tangible outcomes is essential in building self-esteem.
    » Pupils develop grit, resilience and motivation appreciating these skills by sharing positive shout-outs about themselves in group discussions.
    » Peer and adult feedback is extremely valuable to their self perception; for many it is a new experience to receive positive praise.
    » Children go back to school feeling more positive about themselves, with a 'can do' attitude and a renewed sense of their self-worth.

    What success will look like

    Our monitoring will demonstrate a sustained boost in self-esteem, measured from pupil voice, school data and interviews with teachers and pupils, collected 6 weeks and 6 months on.

    Aim 3

    Improve engagement with school to encourage positive relationships and raise attainment.


    » 1:1 and group sessions reflect on the satisfaction of hard work and co-operation at the Farm, recognising the value of transferring this to school.
    » Emphasis is placed on enabling children to see how skills gained from being on the Farm are transferable to their home lives.
    » In target setting meetings children consider their strengths and weaknesses, and set goals for their return that are reviewed 6 weeks on.
    » Teachers receive a report on each child with practical strategies on how to engage them in the classroom.

    What success will look like

    Our monitoring will show increased engagement, measured from pupil voice, school data collection and interviews with teachers and pupils, collected 6 weeks and 6 months on.

    Aim 4

    Equip teachers to support their most vulnerable students.


    » Observing our positive child-centric approach gives teachers ideas and tools to use in the classroom.
    » Teachers see children in a new light and what they're capable of; the farm is used as a reference for children to achieve their potential in school.
    » In response to feedback our staff now deliver CPD sessions in schools, so that even those who haven't visited can learn from our methodology.

    What success will look like

    Currently 95% of teachers agree (78% strongly agree) 'the visit was of benefit to staff' (staff surveys, 2016). Success will be demonstrated by maintaining this positive response.

  • Impact


    Jamie’s Farm is recognised as an experienced organisation, providing an innovative solution for disadvantaged children to remain in education, and develop soft skills that will help them all through life.

    68% of children referred to Jamie’s Farm in 2016-17 for being at risk of exclusion, are no longer in this category 6 weeks on from visiting, confirming that our programme is truly having a transformative impact.

    Our monitoring tracks children 6 months on, and for some to the end of GCSEs.


    We have undertaken a thorough SWOT analysis to understand the challenges we face, especially considering our expansion to a third farm. In the external environment, there is a risk as school budgets tighten. We have a Business Development Strategy to ensure this does not become a barrier for schools to bring a group. We uphold the highest standards in our Child Protection and Safeguarding, and have stringent health and safety measures appropriate for the farm environment.


    We will report to donors through our monthly e-newsletter and annual impact report, in addition to using social media and supporter updates. We will send bi-annual updates to donors during year 1, demonstrating the direct impact of our therapeutic coordinators on visiting children.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £101,672

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £90,472 3 X Therapy Coordinators These three positions will directly impact the 1200+ children we aim to work with in 2017-18.
      £8,700 3 x Staff Costs Including Continued Professional Development, staff costs and travel.
      £2,500 1 year of volunteer costs Volunteers (education professionals) stay for 1 week for CPD to observe our therapeutic methodology.
  • Background


    We are raising the funds to cover costs of our therapeutic activities across the three Jamie's Farm locations - Bath, Hereford and Monmouth. Each farm can support 450 disadvantaged young people each year. The farms' rural locations provide the ideal setting and environmental change conducive to our outcomes. They do not feel institutional, instead are homely and open spaces, where children feel safe, relaxed and have opportunities to reflect and escape the challenges they may be facing at home.


    We support vulnerable young people, referred by their schools for poor behaviour, low self-esteem and low engagement. Many describe turbulent and deprived home lives, drug and alcohol use, abuse and domestic violence, highly sexualised environments, neglect and criminal activity. Some are looked after children or young carers. Our partner schools are nationwide from Bournemouth on the South Coast up to Accrington in Lancashire.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since its inception, Jamie’s Farm has established itself as a pioneering charity, achieving long-term impact, sharing best practice, building capacity in the education sector (providing CPD training to education professionals) and growing at an ambitious, yet sustainable rate. We are accredited with 'Learning Outside the Classroom', and have the support of engaged trusts, corporates and individuals. The Big Give will help Jamie's Farm in a critical time of growth to achieve our exciting vision.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Julie Tonks

    Therapy Coordinator - Jamie's Farm Bath

    Katie Meanwell

    Therapy Coordinator - Jamie's Farm Hereford

    Beth Southill

    Therapy Coordinator - Jamie's Farm Monmonth

    Tish Feilden

    Lead Psychotherapist and JF Senior Leadership. Tish works with the young people across all farms and supports Therapy Coordinators in their roles.

Jamie's Farm and The Big Give Christmas Challenge

Usually when I’m in school I can’t do it or I don’t want to do it. Now I know that I can.

Callum, 2016