The exclusion of any child from school is a tragedy. It wastes potential talent and costs the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. Excluded children are more likely to be unemployed, or even involved in criminal activity. There has to be a better, preventative approach.
Based near Bath, Jamie’s Farm works with children at risk of exclusion; seeking to enthuse and inspire them and to re-engage with their many positive qualities.
Three key strands lie at the heart of the work of Jamie’s Farm: Family, Farming and Therapy. Through ‘Family’ children share the successes of each other and learn how to cooperate in a group, showing what a supportive family looks like. The Farm encourages children to raise livestock, giving them a sense of purpose and well-being that provides them with satisfaction and pride. They receive therapeutic sessions from trained staff to help them understand their weaknesses alongside their own often under-appreciated strengths and, on this greater understanding, to grow as individuals.
Over a period of ten years, Jamie’s Farm has gone from strength-to-strength, working with thousands of children. Over 4,600 at-risk pupils have now visited Jamie’s farm, and their most recent reporting reveals that of all the children who were at risk before their visit, 69% are no longer facing exclusion. The project continues to grow, and remains fundamentally committed to the core values that are vital in nurturing the very best qualities in the children that come to them.
The Rumi Foundation is proud to support this innovative project, which gives disengaged children a space to think, a space to renew, and a space to grow.