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Expanding Dorset social enterprise seeks new Deputy Director



Expanding Dorset social enterprise seeks new Deputy Director

Award winning Dorset social enterprise Future Roots is looking for a Deputy Director to increase the capacity of its management team and to help run a number of new projects that have developed over the past couple of years. Farming has the potential to be one of the greatest learning environments that can be offered to young people, according to Julie Plumley from Future Roots.  Passionate about farming and helping young people in equal measure, Julie is the owner and founder of Future Roots, an organisation that is successfully demonstrating the need for "other" learning opportunities to enable young people to reach their potential.

Based at Rylands Farm in Dorset, registered social worker Julie Plumley grew up on a farm and 15 years ago saw the potential of the farming environment for helping young people who were not coping in a main stream school environment.  Future Roots has seen over 1,200 youngsters, aged from as young as 8 to 18, through its gates since it began in 2008. Julie says, ‘the young people here are not the issue - it is society's inability to cope with their particular needs.'

The organisation aims to provide stability and direction through any tough times for young people and their families. Julie explains, ‘Young people don't come to Future Roots because they are ‘naughty' or ‘bad'. They are referred because they need a safe and secure learning environment, where they feel they can achieve, in order to reach their potential. We believe there are always reasons for behaviours (not excuses) and that there is always a solution.'

The charity has also created Branching Out, working with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) gateway to support young people who don't meet the threshold for Core CAMHS. Referrals have to be made through CAMHS.

Julie believes that farming is a gateway which offers an alternative learning opportunity and prepares young people for future life. Some of the youngsters who have attended Future Roots have themselves become farmers and thanks to the lottery funded Youth Ambassador programme young people who have attended Future Roots will be able to have their say about what things impacted most on their life in a positive and negative way. This will include what has worked, what they would have liked to happen and what they think might have worked for them, resulting in a book of life stories and a video. These materials will be used as training tools when approaching teachers, social workers, and youth workers.

The lottery has also funded Rural Remedies at Future Roots, which supports very young people from 9-13 years who don't have statutory intervention but are referred via families, teachers or other people who know them and feel they are struggling. Julie says that Future Roots is finding that as a result of Covid there are many young people struggling and too anxious to even go out the door. The Rural Remedies work is around improving confidence, resilience and helping these young people to catch up.

The charity recently received two year funding for its Futures programme from the John Lewis partnership and the Police Crime Commissioners Fixing the Future Fund which is centred on supporting Future Roots young people into adulthood, assisting them into suitable work or training settings.

Julie sums it up, ‘Over 17 years of work at Future Roots farming has demonstrated it can be one of the greatest learning opportunities and untapped health and social care services. It enables young people to become resilient, purposeful, confident, caring members of society though providing stability and direction.'

Please see the link to the job of Deputy Director:

Further information on Future Roots from:  or Tel: 01963 210703 or Email: .

Further press information and high res images from Jane Adkins, A Head for PR Ltd, Tel: 01935 813114; Mob: 07960698089 or Email:

August 2023 (FR 02)