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Jamie’s Farm

Organisation Summary

Business Sector:Education, Farming, Charity, Social & Academic Exclusion, Criminal Justice, Youth Services

Business Activities:Intervention for children at risk of exclusion, CPD for teachers, Farming

Business Location:Bath, Hereford, Monmouth, Waterloo and Lewes (from April 2019)

Chief Executive:Jamie Feilden

Turnover:£1.8 million


Legal structure:Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee

Jamie’s Farm

Jamie’s Farm powerfully combines Farming, Family and Therapy in a 5-day residential with the focus on giving children time and space to reflect, renew and to determine a new path for themselves.

This is achieved by creating an environment where they feel respected and are given opportunities to display their talents and show responsibility. The farm environment is homely and cosy, steering away from the institutional set-up of school and instead encouraging togetherness and an escape from the challenges of normal life. On day one, all mobile phones and electronics are handed in to ensure there is real distance from pressures at home. In small groups of 10-12, children live and work on site, supported by experienced staff who focus activities on positive and tangible outcomes.

Rather than petting zoos, these are real farms with real jobs, which provide a huge sense of purpose and achievement for the children whilst on site. Throughout the week children also learn about growing and cooking nutritional food (no sugary snacks are allowed), and group discussions in between activities out on the farm focus on positive reinforcement and praise. Farming activities are punctuated with opportunities for reflection and one-to-one support with trained therapists, including equine-assisted therapy, where together the staff and the children create strategies to translate into new patterns of behaviour back in school. Recognising that for the greatest impact schools have to be empowered and supported, Jamie’s Farm works in partnership with them in order to make changes last.

Schools refer children for low self-esteem, poor behaviour and a lack of engagement at school – each group is accompanied by 2-3 teachers too. Impact is proven to be long-lasting, with improvements demonstrated 6 weeks on and, in most areas, after 6 months too. In 2016-17, of all the children referred to Jamie’s Farm who were at risk of exclusion, 68% were no longer at risk 6 weeks on from their time on a farm. The programme also demonstrates benefits for the accompanying teachers; a week spent on the farm with a visiting group is recognised by schools as invaluable CPD to improve their practice with their most vulnerable students.

A visit to Jamie’s Farm does not end when young people leave the farm. Alongside the core components of Farming, Family and Therapy is the Legacy strand. This sees staff back in the schools for follow-up sessions, or hosting repeat visits for London based schools at the city farm in Waterloo, where a 6-week programme is also offered.

Jamie’s Farm began in 2009 in the home of its founders, Jamie and Tish Feilden (mother and son). In 2010, a permanent site was purchased in Box, just a few miles east of Bath. This farm still receives visits 40 weeks a year and is now the charity’s HQ. Demand from schools has grown significantly and the Jamie’s Farm programme now operates from three rural farms: Jamie’s Farm Hereford opened in 2015 and Jamie’s Farm Monmouth opened in January 2018. There is a fourth farm on the horizon, opening in Lewes in April 2019. With four farms fully operational, Jamie’s Farm will be able to support 2,000 disadvantaged children each year. To date, over 5,500 children have benefit from its unique and holistic support.

E3M Member

Jamie’s Farm

Name:Jamie Feilden

Title :CEO

Founder and CEO of an expanding charity that transforms the lives of vulnerable children aged 11-16 years, through a unique residential ‘Farming, Family and Therapy’ programme.

Jamie graduated from the University of Edinburgh and taught History at Haling Manor School in Croydon from 2003. He worked in the Teach First office as part of the recruitment team from 2005 to 2008, focusing on the Jamie's Farm project during his holidays and weekends. Jamie now manages the farming, fundraising and finance functions of the charity, as well as driving its growth strategy. Jamie is committed to ensuring the Jamie's Farm experience is available to as many children as possible. His leadership has taken the organisation from occasional visits to his mother’s smallholding in Wiltshire, through to being a nationally significant charity, running four residential farms and one city farm. He can often also be found alongside children on the farm, delivering lambs and calves and demonstrating that there is nothing wrong with getting your hands dirty in the cause of Farming, Family and Therapy.