2116. Joan Brown
Joan Brown, from Cupar in Fife, set up ‘Lucky Ewe’, a farming charity which provides work placements for young people with additional needs.
As a former teacher and mother of a daughter with additional needs, Joan wanted to find a way to help young people gain skills in an outdoor setting that could also boost wellbeing. Joan completed many agricultural placements to gain further experience, before founding ‘Lucky Ewe’ in 2020. The organisation welcomes people of all abilities and backgrounds, with their placements aiming to build skills and experience to help participants progress towards employment. The interns, who are generally referred from support services, undertake activities including milking and feeding the sheep, managing the grass paddocks and maintaining the water supply, as well as being given time to connect and reflect in a non-judgemental environment.
Joan runs the charity from fields she rents nearby, where participants are able to gain a qualification in rural skills, and the sale of livestock and sheep’s cheese is reinvested into their educational programmes.
In a personal letter to Joan, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“It is fantastic to hear how you are using your experience as a teacher, together with your passion for farming, to help those with additional needs to learn new skills.
“From feeding sheep to managing grass paddocks and water supplies, you are giving people valuable experience to help them progress towards employment. It is also excellent that you are getting young people outdoors in a beautiful setting where they can connect with others and boost their wellbeing.”
Congratulating Joan on her award, Wendy Chamberlain, Joan’s local MP for North East Fife, said:
“‘Lucky Ewe’ is an incredible initiative and Joan should be proud of the opportunities and experiences she creates for young people with additional needs in North East Fife and beyond. It is people like Joan who make our community so special and I am incredibly proud to represent them.”
“I am honoured to find myself amongst this group of inspiring volunteers. I will continue to work to secure the way forward for our community educational charity.”
See more about ‘Lucky Ewe’