In February, we decided to partner with Registered Charity Jamie's Farm. Jamie's Farm is an incredible residential programme working with vulnerable young people in the UK who are at risk of exclusion from school or are suffering from low self-esteem. Their goal is to equip and empower disadvantaged children to discover and reach their full potential. Groups of 10-12 children live and work on the farm for 5 days taking part in farming and therapy that ultimately gives them time and space to reflect, renew and determine a new path going forward.
When we heard the news that Jamie's Farm was opening their fourth residential farm just up the road from our Sussex office, in Lewes, we jumped at the chance to get involved.
With our expertise in interiors, we knew that we could help turn the farmhouse into something spectacular. With so many bedrooms, bathrooms and reception rooms to decorate, it was a tall order, so we launched an appeal on Instagram to highlight the need for homeware donations, while we committed to furnishing the Living Room.
The young ambassadors were test driving the farm before it was due to open so we headed down to meet them and were given the grand tour. A group of the ambassadors prepared a delicious feast for lunch and we all sat together and chatted about how Jamie's Farm had changed their lives since they had taken part in the programme. We were also joined by the founder, Jamie, who thanked the staff and the ambassadors for making his initial idea all those years ago, become a reality.
We had a perfectly blank canvas (literally!) with fresh white walls to start with so we decided to ask the young ambassadors to tell us what they wanted from the decor at the farm. We wanted to find out what they thought would help other young people who come and stay at Jamie's Farm feel more welcome during their stay. Calming colours, fairy lights, and a wall clock were all top of the wish list, but, most of all, they wanted to feel safe, warm, relaxed and happy.
So we began designing the space with a simple colour palette in mind and within a few weeks arrived back at the farm to bring it all to life.
We channelled our inner teen and hand-selected a variety of items from our collection that we knew would add a magical element to the room. We knew that the twinkling Fleur Tree and pops of mustard yellow would bring happiness into the room and added warmth with rugs, throws, and cushions. The living room is where everybody comes together in the evening to relax after a long day on the farm so we made sure there were plenty of humorous and thoughtful items on display too.
When we visited the farm, the young ambassadors had told us what words of encouragement they would give to anyone arriving at the farmhouse for the first time. We loved their responses and our graphic designer, Tyler R, turned them into brilliant art prints. Jessica, Helia, and Harley now have their quotes hanging proudly on the walls of the living room to inspire anyone who comes to visit.
We also added a poignant quote by the founder, Jamie. He said to the ambassadors "You're going to go out there and change the world" - and we couldn't resist adding this to the wall.
We were delighted to discover that our initial appeal on Instagram had grabbed the attention of some local creatives! Interior stylist Kate McPhee and interior designer Sophie Robinson stepped in to coordinate and lead the redecoration for the rest of the farmhouse. Pulling on their extensive list of contacts to donate items for the rest of the farmhouse, Kate was inundated with responses. Kate had seen our appeal for help on Instagram and got in touch to volunteer, enlisting the help of her good friend Sophie. Between the two of them and a team of local stylists and designers, transformed the rest of the house. Girl Power!
You can watch Kates #jamiesdiysos highlights on Instagram for all the behind-the-scenes fun during their makeover. The value of the donations that Kate received came to a whopping £32,074! Product donations from brands came to £15,231, Volunteers £14,842, and the short film £2,000.
“The outpouring of good-will towards this project has just been astounding. What started off as a local project has rippled out far and wide and we have had support from brands and volunteers countrywide who are donating their time and resources to make this transformation really count." - Sophie Robinson
The redecoration project would never have happened without the wonderful Lauren Lloyd, Head of Philanthropy at Jamie's Farm Lewes. A customer at Rockett St George, Lauren dropped into the office one day to see if we had any spare items to help furnish the farmhouse and we are so pleased that she did. The work that the team at Jamies Farm provide for children who desperately need it is totally inspiring and we are in awe of everything that they do.
"The impact this has had on the charity is huge, giving them a boost and positive outlook to pass on to the children who will arrive at the end of March. Using playful colours, spirited artwork and lively patterns, designing the space have been done with the children’s wellbeing in mind and a positive atmosphere exudes throughout the property. This ambience is empowering and aims to uplift the children as soon as they set foot inside." - Jamies Farm
If you'd like to donate or volunteer at Jamie's Farm you can find out more information on the Jamie's Farm website. Jamie's Farm also run fun and exciting corporate away days and you can even stay at the farmhouse and enjoy the experience for yourself!