A CHARITY supporting vulnerable children is calling for support to continue its work in Herefordshire and beyond

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, charity Jamie’s Farm, which has a farm in Herefordshire's Golden Valley has gone above and beyond to fulfil its charitable mission of supporting vulnerable children and enabling them to thrive by offering groups the opportunity to visit its rural havens, where they are fully immersed in farm life and receive tailored therapeutic support.

Although residential trips have been put on hold due to government restrictions, Jamie’s Farm has worked closely with schools to devise a new impactful day-visit programme for the children who have been able to attend, offering fresh air, energising walks, healthy homegrown food and the opportunity to do meaningful, practical work.

The programme has been specifically designed to help children re-engage with school and their peers after the stresses of lockdown and is focused on helping pupils grow their self-confidence and improve their mental wellbeing.

To help them continue their important work, Jamie’s Farm is calling for support during the upcoming Big Give Christmas Challenge donation week. Throughout the week of 1st-8th December, every donation to Jamie’s Farm will be doubled thanks to The Childhood Trust and individual donors who have provided the match funding, in partnership with The Big Give. You can pledge your support to the campaign by clicking here.

The charity has set an ambitious target of raising £50,000 through the campaign which would be doubled to £100,000. This will help bring its programme to 1,500 vulnerable children in the year ahead.

Jamie’s Farm has been fortunate to receive some fantastic support from the local community to date, including the Herefordshire Community Foundation, which provided a grant of £4,900 as part of their National Emergency Trust Fund which is helping fund a series of day visits over six weeks for 10 young people from Kingstone High School.

Mrs Victoria Seymour, pastoral lead for Year 7 at Kingstone High School, said: “Jamie’s Farm builds trust and self-confidence in unique and hugely rewarding ways, helping our young people to grow and learn. The progress our pupils make during their time at the farm has an immensely positive and measurable effect on their wider school life. Experiencing new challenges in a truly supportive environment makes such a huge difference. Discovering Jamie’s Farm really did tick so many boxes for me as a pastoral lead. Every young person needs to experience at least one day on Jamie’s Farm!”

Founder Jamie Feilden said: “It has been a tremendously difficult year for the children we support, many of whom have faced serious hardships, deprivation, isolation and cramped living conditions. The negative impact of Covid-19 and two national lockdowns on children’s mental health and education has been widely documented and schools have expressed a real need for what our programme offers.

“We are looking forward to restarting our full residential trips when possible but, until then, we are pleased that our day-visits are making a clear positive impact on young people’s wellbeing, behaviour, confidence and self-esteem. We are proud to have strong partnerships with our local schools and it has been a real boost for our staff and teams to know we are making a tangible difference to the lives of so many deserving children."

If any schools have pupils they feel could benefit from Jamie’s Farm programme, please get in touch at info@jamiesfarm.org.uk