Freshfields trainee lends a hand to troubled teens

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer trainee solicitor Stephen Costello has helped troubled teenagers to swap their hoodies for wellies on a development programme, which sees youngsters spend a week living and working on a rural farm in Bath.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer trainee solicitor Stephen Costello has helped troubled teenagers to swap their hoodies for wellies on a development programme, which sees youngsters spend a week living and working on a rural farm in Bath.

Costello, who prior to joining Freshfields spent two years on the Teach First programme, initially got involved with Jamie’s Farm in 2007 when he took a group of difficult pupils to the take part in the programme.

He said: “One of my pupils had been involved in a gang and we’d collected the toughest kids who’d been labelled by the school and society as being a bit of a pain. But after taking part in the programme you realised they were actually really nice kids who just needed a break.”

The youngsters spent five-days living on the farm doing a range of tasks including feeding and caring for livestock as well as horticultural activities.

But the youngsters were not expected to spend their entire time slogging it out, students also got a chance to take part in therapy sessions and even test out their culinary skills by helping to prepare their evening meals.

After the trip Costello became a trustee of Jamie’s Farm and has used his legal knowledge to turn the venture into a company limited by guarantee as well as help it gain its charitable status.

Freshfields has also given the programme a helping hand by donating a desk at its London headquarters for the charity to use rent-free.

Jamie’s Farm was the brainchild of Jaime Feilden who was also a teacher on the Teach First programme.

For more information visit www.jamiesfarm.org.uk.