Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Youth Project Fundraiser

Our Youth Worker, Mike Price has been working at Fordhall since September 2012...

...although he has been an avid volunteer since 2004. 

Mike is there, 4th from the left (Feb 2005)

The Project
Mike has been working weekly with small groups of young people who are not suited to the conventional classroom setting, some of whom are at the point of exclusion.  This project helps to rebuild their confidence, self-esteem and focus in life.  Mike has been working on the John Muir Award with them, as well as working to develop their interests post formal education.  Over 80% of participants have gone on to further education or employment!

Knocking posts in to fence off the pond.

The Problem
As with everything we do here, we put in as much as we can in terms of enthusiasm, ideas, time and funds, but there comes a point when we need a bit of step up in the right direction.

Jarrod clearing the pond

During the year, Mike and the young people on the project take part in many jobs out and about around the farm and most of these jobs involve using tools.  Unfortunately for them, our tools are not in the best of nick.  Many have been generously donated to us and over the years have broken or worn with use and have been bodged together a few times to try to keep them going!

Mike with Nathan under the Greenwood Work shelter that they built.

The Plan
So, in an effort to provide better tools for the young people to use on the fantastically worthwhile jobs that they help us with, Mike will be running the Trail Marathon Wales and asking for sponsorship.

The Trail Marathon Wales takes runners through the stunning trails and tracks of the world-renowned Coed y Brenin forest in the Snowdonia National Park. It’s a tough trail and Mike has been training hard to be able to complete it (maybe even in under 6 hours!).

Mike and Jarrod

If you want to support Mike and the FCLI Youth Project with their fundraising, then please go to

Thank you!
Mike with Aidan and Chris

Monday, June 02, 2014

Owen's Post

Hi, I’m Owen. I started at Fordhall farm in late November as part of a work experience program set up by the Jobcentre. It was originally just a way to gain some experience in an office role. But once the 8-week program had come to an end, I continued to volunteer.

One of the things I most enjoy about working at Fordhall is the friendly atmosphere in the office environment. Everyone who works or volunteers in the office is always friendly and willing to offer a helping hand when one is needed.

Over my time volunteering at Fordhall, I have taken part in various roles. During the recent spring fair, I was roped into helping at the last minute and was put in charge of the welly wangling. Which resulted in an interesting, exciting and completely unexpected day.

Also, I have helped in small ways to refurbish the yurt facilities, which have been set up for glamorous camping on the farm. I have helped clean the inside of the yurts and in recent weeks I helped to create a border of mint around them. I also helped another volunteer fill sheets of insulation to be placed in the walls of the yurt.

To help give the flue in the yurt more stability, I helped to dig a deep hole beside the yurt and placed a telegraph pole in it, which was then bracketed to the flue – this will make sure the flue doesn’t blow over in the wind!

The main part of my volunteering work has taken place in the main office. I have gained knowledge on the use of Microsoft programs. I have done filing and typing up the minutes of a company meeting.

During my time here I helped Ben give the cattle their TB shots. I helped by recording the numbers on the cows’ ear tags. This helped to keep record of the cows and I gained knowledge on how to give cows TB shots.

Recording cattle ear-tags

I have disliked very little about my time at Fordhall. Everything that I did was a new and usually fun experience for me. I have made friendships during my time at Fordhall and I have gained valuable office experience when I apply for future office based jobs.