Work Experience Placement Given The Green Light 20 Years Ago
Work Experience Placement Given The Green Light 20 Years Ago when Zena approached Farmer Palmers. “After all, if you don’t ask you never know if it is possible!” was Zena’s approach.
Getting to Know ZENA from our Animal Barn Team.
My life dramatically changed in 1995 when I needed to change my career due to family circumstances. So I decided to go back to college at 29 years old. Everyone else in the class was 17 or 18 and YOUNG! I decided to go into animal care because that was what I loved most. The challenge was to find a “Work Placement” which was quite a new concept in 1999. I’d heard of this new little open farm in Organford and could drive so I decided to go out there and try to speak to the proprietor. This was about August 1999.
It was a Sunday, Sandra Palmer was there and she saw me. I explained I needed a work placement for college and her response was “Work placement, what’s that then?” When I clarified what would be involved she said “Well, I’ll get back to you Zena” In those days we had no mobile phone, only a landline.
But true to her word, she contacted me and saw the potential for their business. She said, “Let us try this work placement idea and see how it goes”. I was the first Work Experience Placement Student Farmer Palmers ever had way back in 1999.
It’s Not Really Working, I love What I Do, Even Though It Is Hard
I worked here for 2 years, I received a little bit of petrol money. When I left they gave me a little gift and I felt really appreciated, and I had achieved my qualifications. I then went away and brought my children up for a few years. As they got older I realized I needed to work but could only do two and a half days a week. Having left on great terms I thought I’d call Sandra at Farmer Palmers again. We had stayed in touch and she was very obliging realizing my qualification and maturity was an asset, so they found me a position in the Animal Barn. I was really happy working with Pauline.
I started in Feb 2005 and worked from work placement to my current role as a Supervisor. My good work colleague, Tina, often ribs me that, back then, she had to watch me wave goodbye on a Thursday afternoon on my short week whilst she did a 5 day week!
I love my job, especially the people and get great joy from kind customer service. This enables me to constantly learn and improve myself.
I have been here for 16 years in total. I don’t know where the time has gone. My children have grown up. My grandchildren are amazing. When they visit they always want to come to Farmer Palmers. I always bring them and it’s amazing as a customer with my family, relaxed and definitely not a busman’s holiday.
The Tale Of The Lost Penguin
“Hi, Sandra today at 1.15 pm I did the bumpy tractor-trailer ride as always. It was fairly busy lots of smiley people and children boarded the trailer all excited. I did the eight-minute all-round bumpy Tractor trailer ride. When I let everybody off they were all still laughing a smiling and thanking me. Except for one little girl about six in a red coat who was sobbing.
Oh dear, I said my tractor ride wasn’t that bad surely? And then a lady with another little girl whom the little six-year-old was out for the day with said she has lost her little grey penguin! He has fallen off the bumpy tractor trailer ride. Oh dear, I said “I’ve never had that happen before”. The lady said he is a very important penguin because if the little girl hurts herself, he is her comfort buddy.
No worries I said, I’ll walk up the track and look for him as it’s no public access along there. So off I went on foot I got right to the wibbly wobbly bit an that’s the end off the road. No sign of Mr penguin. So I walked around an back down and as I looked across the water of the wibbly wobbly ditch there was Mr penguin hanging on the grass verge by a flipper!
An inch more he would have been swimming! I picked him up, not a mark on him. As I got back to the woodland walk the family were searching and the little girl they were looking after was still sobbing. As I handed her the penguin her whole face lit up, she was smiling again…. Mr penguin was back safe where he belonged! What an adventure he had had!”
Work Experience Placement Given The Green Light 20 Years Ago, Sandra Palmer-Snellin.
Because demand for places often outstrips the opportunities, we recommend approaching employers months in advance.
Sandra gives talks on Diversification and Business to Schools and works with Youth Engagement Programmes locally.
We live locally to Farmer Palmers and have annual passes for our whole family. We’ve been visiting the farm for 6 years now (so I have lots of good things to say!) My younger daughter age 19 months loves it and so does her 6 year old sister! (My eldest also loved it as a toddler!)
It’s a farm, with all the usual farm animals you’d expect to see and more.
The indoor play area is done very well and my youngest and eldest daughter love it in there, soft play is also great for both ages.
Bouncy castles are kept clean and well maintained (let’s remember there’s a daily influx of small children who’ve spent the day running free range on a FARM so of course it’s got signs of being used!).
My daughters love it here, you have an array of activities to choose from woodland walks, soft play & bouncy castles. Guinea pig holding is a hit (happy well looked after Guinea pigs not cramped up in a pet shop. We were so happy with the standards of care we got our own guinea pigs from here!). Goat and lamb feeding (yes on busy days you don’t get a huge amount of time yet I haven’t heard a grumble from a single child). Not mention water sprinklers, Go carts which are suitable for both adults and small children, lovely picnic area and playground, seasonal pony rides and real milking demonstration (my eldest loves it!). There is decent home cooked food served in the cafe. Also a tractor ride available for a couple of £ you can even feed deer.
We’ve had several birthday parties here (so have my nephews and nieces age up to age 12!) and everyone loves it.
Considering the price of most family days out, I think Farmer Palmers is actually very good value for money, it’s a far cry from a theme park (thank goodness!) and I love spending time with my kids here throughout the year be it rain of shine!
Will be renewing our annual pass for the 3rd year this summer!
Thanks for endless entertainment!
W Beth 2019
Not a theme park a wonderful family farm
"Good place for the family lots to see and do. Clean and staff helpful. Could spend a day there with the kids and have a great time. Would recommend to everyone."
"An absolutely lovely farm, with the most perfect helpful, knowledgeable staff. We had an amazing day."
Allergy Awareness "We come and visit you every week and I was so pleased to see the "no food" notice up in the soft play areas. My son is anaphylaxis to dairy and peanuts. Thank you for raising awareness and helping my son to not be at risk!"
"The imagination and creativity with the play areas is just perfect. Today we fed the lambs and it was such a special moment, I've always wanted to do it and loved it!"
"The passes are fantastic value for money and whenever we come to Farmer Palmer's my children never want to leave. Staff are always very friendly and helpful."
Annual Pass Holder
"Even when it's pouring down, FP is a great place to come. Plenty to do under shelter and who doesn't love to put their wellies on and splash in muddy puddles! And for the mums and dads, the cake is amazing :)"
Sarah says "Food in the restaurant was lovely and the staff were friendly"
"A rare treat, a full day out and change!"
Value for money!
"We keep coming back with our grandchildren"
"We are big fans!! My little boy wakes up most mornings asking if he can go to Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park!!"
"It was amazing. From organisation to the staff,
who were fantastic, we were very pleased"
Team Farmer Palmer Fan
"Great family day out. Highly recommended!"
Holiday visitor to Dorset
"I can't recommend this wonderful place enough. It's an amazing little piece of paradise in Dorset."
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