Since the early days of Switchback, River Cottage has been an integral part of this, hosting regular trips down to Devon for our Trainees to camp and meet the staff and learning new things. James and Guellor were released from prison three months ago and have made tremendous progress in stretching themselves. When invited, they both jumped at the chance to go to River Cottage.
This trip was another HUGE success, starting with the group of Trainees and Switchback Mentors being welcomed with open arms and a plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, cake, and an endless supply of tea and coffee, thanks to the lovely Vicky!
Dan the farmer then gave the group a farm tour, his infectious passion for what he does was completely catching. He shared his knowledge of top tips on how to grow herbs and provided an insight into our supermarket habits. The group were delighted to get to hold of new born chicks and Guellor was particularly pleased to stroke a lamb for the first time!
Next, the group went on to the cooking school where they were met by Matt, who gave a fantastic bread and pizza making masterclass. Then, Andy brought in five pig heads and taught the group the art of butchery and the value of wasting as little as possible of the animal.
The Trainees had a fantastic time and did not want to leave. Thank you to all of the River Cottage team who made this trip a wonderful a wonderful experience for both Trainees and Switchback Mentors!
“I wish we could stay here forever”
“I’ve never been so close to nature before”
“Everyone in Devon is so friendly to us, it's like we are all the same. I wish it was like this all the time”
Switchback is a London based charity working with 18-30 year old men being released from prison. Switchback Mentors encourage and challenge their Trainees to take control and make a more stable life for themselves no matter how slow or difficult this might be. As part of the Switchback programme, Trainees are encouraged to push themselves out of their comfort zones and try new things. www.switchback.org.uk