On Thursday 20th July we celebrated the end of the GROW programme for the academic year 2022 – 2023.

Our GROW celebration is an opportunity for our young people to reflect on everything they’ve achieved at the Farm. Families, tutors, Farm volunteers, and supporters of the GROW programme gathered on the red brick area outside the Animal Centre. Our tutors talked about the young people and the projects they’ve completed this year, before it was time for certificates and celebrations.

What is the GROW programme?

The GROW programme is a skills based provision for young people who struggle in mainstream education. There are lots of reasons young people might be part of the GROW programme. For example, some might struggle in the traditional classroom setting due to difficulty concentrating. Others may have anxiety and struggle with their confidence or need support in smaller groups.

GROW aims to help young people build their confidence and learn new skills. Young people take part in a variety of different activities, including woodwork, animal care, health and fitness, art, and IT.

Our young people have different needs, and our approach to learning is tailored to the individual as much as possible. Young people are in small groups with a maximum of 4 young people with 1 tutor.

How does the GROW programme work?

The unique environment of Amelia Trust Farm has a huge impact on our young people. Spending time in a natural, outdoor environment can create a shift in the way young people learn. At the Farm, the focus is on practical and social skills.

We often see a change in how young people view themselves, as well as those around them.

It’s the personal growth of each young person that is so important to our GROW tutors. It’s also what makes their job so rewarding.

Celebrating success

During the celebration, all of the young people were presented with certificates to recognise their progress over the last year.

Many young people gained practical skills like learning how to use carpentry tools, follow recipes, and animal care. Many developed social skills like building new friendships and learning how to work together respectfully.

Presenting the Tony Ford Award

Ever year one young person, who is about to leave GROW, is presented with the Tony Ford award. The Tony Ford award is named after someone who helped set up Amelia Trust.

The award is presented to a young person who demonstrates the achievements and progress that’s integral to the GROW programme.

Choosing just one young person to receive this award is difficult because all of our young people are deserving of the accolade.

Chad Sloper-Symons was presented with the Tony Ford Award during the GROW celebration 2022-2023. Despite only being at the Farm for just over a year, Chad has made exceptional progress. He has become a role model for others on GROW, and developed maturity, focus, and a responsible attitude. He is leaving GROW with a positive outlook that we are sure will serve him well for the future. Chad is moving on to college and we are sure he has a bright future ahead of him.

Moving on to new adventures

For some young people, the GROW celebration marked the end of their time on the GROW programme at Amelia Trust. Some have successfully achieved Agored qualifications, and others have secured places in college or their first job. We are looking forward to hearing about their progress in the months and years to come.

Find out more about GROW

If you’d like to find out more about the work we do as a charity, browse the How we Help page of our website. Young people are at the heart of everything we do at Amelia Trust Farm, and support from our visitors is invaluable.

You can support our work by visiting the Farm, becoming an annual pass holding, or giving a donation.