People come to Magdalen for a variety of reasons - it might be to learn about a particular topic,gain a new skill, make new friends or just to have fun. 2018 was a busy year for Magdalen Farm and our staff and visitors. Here is a brief summary of Magdalen and who has visited us over the past year.
Magdalen is an educational and environmental charity based on a 132 organic farm and our purpose is to:
The charity aims to make learning an adventure, through hands-on activities and imaginative teaching whilst integrating best environmental practices.
Environmental education of one form or another accounts for ¾ of Magdalen’s work. Most of the people we reach come to us to learn about the environment, wildlife,where food comes from and how to live with a lesser impact on the planet. They also come to us for the mixture of play and learning, and the personal
development children gain on the low ropes course, night-walks and caring for animals. Children walk away from the Farm a little bit taller than when they arrive.
We educate children across the all sectors of society, including high achievers attending Magdalen Farm Strings at Easter, and attending schools across the south of England, and also children with significant barriers to learning. We have worked with 72 schools this year, many of them educating children from our local community, others coming from up to 200 miles away.
We work with a variety of people from all sorts of backgrounds. This includes:
Young carers are children with ‘inappropriate caring responsibilities’ at home. In 2018 we are delighted to have worked with services representing young carers
across the South West region, and to have provided them with residential opportunities designed to help meet some of their needs. Our thanks once again go
to the various funders who have enabled this work.
Young carers come to us to improve:
For us, 2018 has been the year of the refugee. We have welcomed children who have been smuggled or trafficked into the UK, unaccompanied by parents or other family members. We have had a particular focus, thanks to the kind support of the Pilgrim Trust, on trafficked girls and young women, many of whom have escaped not only from war and oppression in their homelands, but also appalling conditions on their arrival in the UK.
Here at Magdalen we encourage the children to express themselves, feel valued and useful, helping to forge friendships and create a peer-support network.
In the summer of 2018 we also worked with every Syrian refugee family resettled by the British government into Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole, providing a rare opportunity not only for this displaced and embattled community to come together and share some common heritage, but also to learn more about the country in which they now live, and to enjoy access to its countryside and wildlife. In the autumn, we extended this offer to families resettled into Somerset.
We are looking to expand on the great successes from 2018 by welcoming yet more individuals, families, schools and groups to Magdalen Farm. We have to say a big thank-you to all those trusts, charities and individuals who have backed Magdalen with grants and donations without whose generosity we could not continue to support our visitors.