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Farmer John’s May 2013 Blog

Farmer John’s May 2013 Blog

1 May 2013

Just under a year ago a small young lad came to our door. He was 12,

living with very caring grandparents, but had only seen his mum twice that he remembered and didn’t know his dad. Both had been drug users. He wasn’t coping with school and was frequently excluded. It was generally for verbalising what many of us probably thought about certain teachers when we were at school. Instead of checking the stock first that day we went straight to Hermitage and bought the largest child sized John Deere overalls, which were too big. He put them on with a growing pride. Next job was helping a lamb which had got stuck on its side. It took us 20 minutes to carefully coax it back on its feet. The day continued, and grandfather arrived to pick up a very different person. He had achieved, and had something to tell, and experiences to be proud of. Over the year he has been coming for 2 days a week and grown in confidence. He was especially good at making sure newly born lambs were mothered up correctly during lambing. He had also taken to feeding half the workforce with an excess of Wagon Wheels, Penguins, chocolate chip cookies and crisps. He would only eat one of the two Chicken Caesar salad wraps. I was the bin for the other one. I got fatter, he stayed the same size.

Today he arrived and cried. The game was over. The school’s patience had run out. It was special school time for him. There was an interview tomorrow and, if accepted, a taxi on Monday morning to take him to Reading. We tried to make it a good day for him, gave him a reference, said we really cared and do really hope for his future, but he is not alone in the world we are so quick to measure, judge and condemn. There are 50 staff at his new school looking after 58 young people and what stories could they each tell.

Chairs on tables, children and don’t forget, education is a wonderful thing. – S Henderson