Unlike the last time we took part in some farm-based volunteering, the weather was kind to us yesterday when we all ventured into the wilds of north Dorset to Rylands Farm, the home of the Future Roots project.
Future Roots was founded by Julie Plumley in 2008, fulfilling her vision of a safe, positive environment where kids with various kinds of adversity in their lives could benefit from getting up-close and personal with the big outdoors. The farm runs various programmes for children from the age of 8, young adults, and older people, to help make a positive change in their lives.
Having actually located the farm (some of us got a little lost!) we were set to work, weather-proofing an informal classroom. The wooden structure is situated with a view over the beautiful countryside, and Julie told us how children exibiting aggressive or challenging behaviour often found it easier to work where they could move outside on the building’s little veranda and not feel so hemmed in.
The classroom, like the rest of the farm, needs maintenance to ensure that it stays standing for people to benefit from for years to come – so we were set loose with sandpaper and woodstain to give it some TLC.
The difference these kind of projects make to those in our communities who are less fortunate in their circumstances is incredible, and chatting to Julie about the vision for the farm and the stability and support they’re able to offer was inspiring (read Future Roots’ Case Studies for more info).
Thanks to all at Future Roots for having us and making us feel so welcome – we had a really enjoyable day!