Our hearts are full of joy thinking back to our week at Jamie’s Farm.
LOOK staff, Elin and Charlotte M, along with Mentors Callum, Ellie, Kombo, and Lara welcomed eight mentees from around the country to experience life on the farm.
Elin and Charlotte report from their week in the Golden Valley.
Our resounding memories of being at Jamie’s Farm, Herefordshire this summer will be of belly-laughs and big, beautiful smiles.
We enjoyed a fantastic few days full of hard-work, new experiences, but most importantly, loads of fun!
At Jamie’s Farm we live and work as a family for a few days, taking part in all aspects of running the working farm, including harvesting from the garden and making meals for the group, mending fences and creating tools in the woodshed, feeding all sorts of animals, grooming horses, moving cattle, herding sheep and collecting eggs.
When not working hard around the farm, we enjoyed our downtime taking walks in the countryside, playing games and making music together.
An important aspect of the Jamie’s Farm experience is the therapeutic side of things, but this isn’t sitting on a sofa and talking about how we feel. It looks like sitting around the breakfast table as a group sharing our ‘check-in number’ from 1 to 10 of how we’re feeling at that moment, and taking part in hand-meetings where we’re invited to discuss how much we agree or disagree with specific statements.
We ask a lot of young people when coming to Jamie’s Farm with LOOK. We ask them to spend lots of time with people they may never have met before. We ask them to try lots of new things that may challenge them physically and emotionally. Primarily, we ask them to say ‘yes’ to things that might initially feel uncomfortable, or strange, or scary.
It’s fair to say that is no small feat for a group of visually impaired young people from all around the UK (and who’ve never met in-person before), but I don’t think you’d have thought this was the case at the campfire on Thursday night!
What a pleasure it’s been to get to know each of these wonderful eight young people across these five days, to watch them push themselves out of their comfort zones and their confidence grow, to enjoy them flourish into a fun, vibrant group of friends, to see them say ‘yes’ and thrive!
Zack and Kai were fountains of knowledge on all manner of topics that got us all talking. Murray and Jolene’s double-act had us in stitches more than once! Imogen and Catrin were an excellent team leading us in a VI sport session in a field, and Faye and Finn were so thoughtful helping those around them and learning to ask for help for themselves too.
Don’t take it from us though, hear what some of the young people had to say about the week.
We of course also need to spotlight the incredible team of LOOK mentors supporting the group at Jamie’s Farm this year. Calum, Ellie, Kombo, and Lara were exemplary role models of team work, understanding and an excellent sense of fun.
LOOK and Jamie’s Farm truly make the dream team for inclusion. We can’t wait to be back next year!
Elin & Charlotte, from the LOOK Mentor Project team and co-organisers of LOOK at Jamie’s Farm 2023