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Meet Julie: 12 Years of Heartfelt Dedication to Whirlow's Education Team


After a long and illustrious career as a secondary school food technology teacher, Julie, now 75, wanted to spend some of her retirement giving back to her local community, and she embarked on a 12-year volunteering journey with us.

Over the years, Julie has been involved in wide range of farm events and activities. She started by volunteering on the school visits but as they are mostly primary age children, she felt her experience was better with older children and young adults. Once she had joined the young adults in Whirlow’s Post 16 programme, she realised this was a perfect fit. Her innate ability to build meaningful relationships with youngsters who attend Whirlow as part of their weekly routine is perfect for the learners on this programme as they thrive on routine. She is now firmly established as part of the Post 16 Whirlow LIFE family!

As well as working with the students, and turning her hand to wood carving and sewing, she has also helped at many fundraising events, along with her Husband, Richard. During this time, Julie has fostered a deep affection for the farm's animals, particularly the sheep and pigs, while also nurturing a strong bond with the Farm's dedicated staff.

Julie has many connections to the Farm, one of which being that when our Gateway (learning kitchen) Tutor, Hilary, was doing her teacher training, Julie was one of the teachers she worked with. Additionally, Julie’s oldest daughter, Helen, got married in Whirlow’s fields with tepees! Her other daughter, Hollie, previously owned a children’s activity club which often held sessions at Whirlow.

Julie’s two daughters now have two children each so her four grandchildren keep her busy when she’s not at Whirlow! She also spends time as a member of a WI group, with a book club, and attending Pilates and Zumba classes. No quiet retirement for Julie!

We are endlessly thankful for Julie, and other volunteers like her, for giving up so much of their time to support the youngsters who come to Whirlow for support; we truly could not do what we do with them.

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