The Amelia Trust Farm’s Commitment to Care and Nurture their Community

26 June 2023

Opened in 1992 in partnership with the Methodist Church of Wales, the Amelia Trust Farm near Cardiff was set up to help young, disadvantaged, vulnerable young people, who do not fit into the education system. It has grown to be so much more, caring for people, animals and the environment. 

The GROW Programme is the heart of the Amelia Trust Farm, helping young people who had fallen between the cracks of the education system. The objective is to improve their confidence and teach them some skills that will help them with their lives. “Young people come to us for a variety of reasons. For instance, it could be they have ADHD or autism, which causes some behavioural issues that schools cannot cope with. Some find the traditional classroom setting overwhelming,” explains Vicki McCoan, the Visitor Officer. 

The Amelia Trust Farm provides them with a variety of skills such as taking care of the animals. “They help the young people so much, nurturing and feeding them,” adds Vicki. Most of the animals on the farm have been rescued or they have been given to them. They have donkeys, alpacas, sheep, guinea pigs, ferrets and reptiles, to name but a few. The young people also learn how to work in the Woodlands, activities such as cutting trees and planting. There is woodwork training, nutrition, budgeting, a gym, a basketball court and a music studio. “It helps to write down some of their emotions and to get through that work through some of their issues,” says Vicki.


But the Amelia Trust Farm has other projects and supports a variety of charities on-site. For instance, Woody’s Lodge – on site Monday to Thursday – helps veterans of the armed forces, police or ambulance services to emotionally and practically settle back into civil life. The Innovate Trust’s Field Days Project works with adults with learning disabilities teaching them horticultural skills. “They help with the maintenance, mow the lawns, grow fruit and vegetables and sell them,” adds Vicki. 

The Amelia Trust Farm can be visited (tickets can be bought online or purchased at the gate) and their Bunkhouse can be hired. “It's generally Scout groups, Brownie groups and outreach projects that stay here. There is also a barbecue area in the woodlands,” explains Vicki. The café is currently closed for refurbishment but should reopen by next spring. “We are hoping for it to become a community cafe for groups such as mothers and daughters, parental and maybe a bookclubs,” says Vicki. 

There are changes afoot with Woody’s Lodge being relocated. It’ll mean more space, particularly one-to-one space for them, and also an extension of the bunkhouse from 19 to 30 beds bunkhouse with the addition of accessible bedrooms downstairs. 

Open all year around (at the exception of Christmas day), the Farm would not be able to work without its army of volunteers. They help with maintenance, the animals and also the Woodlands. There are also students in need of placement and corporate volunteers. Some companies like Lloyds Bank, Santander and Companies House have send staff to do some volunteering on the farm, which helps with team building, particularly after the pandemic when remote work has broken the link between employees, especially for new hires.  

Any sort of money raised or earned is mainly used in the GROW project.