We love our partnership with Jamie’s Farm – their unique combination of farming, family and therapy offers a perfect environment for young visually impaired people to get out of their comfort zone, try new things and grow confidence in what they can do.

Our annual Jamie’s Farm summer residential brings young visually impaired people together with LOOK Mentors to live, work, eat together and support each other as a family. They take an active role in all aspects of running the farm – cooking together, feeding and taking care of the animals, and having a go at planting and harvesting.

Read more about a previous summer residential here.

LOOK Mentors and young people at a previous LOOK summer residential - riding on a quad bike

Our Mentor Training weekend at Jamie’s Farm is a chance for Mentors to get together before the summer residential – to bond as a group, and plan activities for the young people and make sure the site and staff are VI ready. It’s also an opportunity to sharpen their own leadership skills. Each Mentor identified their own learning goals, including teamwork, taking initiative and facilitating groups. These goals are being used to tailor the training sessions delivered for Mentors – in-person and online – in the lead up to the summer residential.

Elin Williams is LOOK’s Events Manager and lost most of her sight during her teenage years. She says:

“A diagnosis of sight loss can be life changing, confusing and isolating. Often visually impaired children don’t get the same chance as their sighted peers to explore and get stuck into nature. Being at Jamie’s Farm helps young people get out of their comfort zones and outdoors, without digital distractions. It’s wonderful to see young people learning new skills, having fun and making friends for life. We are so grateful to our volunteer Mentors who gift their time, skills and strengths to support young people. It’s wonderful to see them making new friendships and creating memories with their fellow Mentors too.

A huge thank you to our incredible Mentors for your dedication.”

Graham is a new Mentor and this was the first time he got to meet some of the other LOOK Mentors. He says:

“I got involved with LOOK this year as it sounded like a fantastic opportunity to help young visually impaired people achieve their goals. Working with LOOK, even in a few months, has been brilliant – starting conversations with my mentee and now the opportunity to go to Jamie’s Farm. I am really looking forward to the summer residential, and helping young VI people grow confidence and independence. I’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know the other Mentors, and being around them and the LOOK staff.”

Snapshots from a great weekend.

The kitchen is at the heart of Jamie’s Farm – here’s LOOK’s Events Manager Elin prepping lunch.

There was plenty of time to enjoy walking in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside surrounding Jamie’s Farm.

Mentor Siham’s smile says it all about one of the joys of Jamie’s Farm – getting to hold baby lambs…

And to feed them too….

Here’s Mentor Callum with a bottle that’s almost as big as the lamb he’s feeding.

Graham feeding a lamb

Mentors mucked in with all the daily farm tasks. Mentor Lara dressed for the job in her farm overalls pushing a large green wheelbarrow with animal feed

Mentor Lara wearing her red and blue all in one farm overalls and pushing a very large green wheelbarrow

A chance to rest at the end of a busy day

Mentors sitting on stone steps at Jamie's Farm wearing their LOOK tshirts

And to enjoy Jamie’s Farm Hereford in full bloom.

Thanks to all the Jamie’s Farm staff and to our volunteer Mentors.

Roll on the summer residential!

Watch this video to find out more about our Jamie’s Farm Mentor training weekend.