What we did at Gamelea

Gamelea Countryside Training Trust

Since becoming Godmother of Independence of the Seas, I have been asked many times how I became  a Godmother if only Celebrities or Royals are the norm.

In 2008 I was running the Gamelea Countryside Training Trust, a charity I had founded and ran to enable a wide range of disadvantaged people to reach their full potential and enter the world of work if that was they desire.

Royal Caribbean launched a competition to find the Godmother of Independence by asking for nominations for an ordinary woman who had done something extraordinary of the community.

My twelve year Old daughter Alicia nominated me, below is the reason why.

Gamelea Donkey birth 2

The gateway to pastures new

Before I set up the charity I was a teacher of Rural Science and special needs. I became acutely aware of a lack of opportunities for People with Learning Disabilities after main stream education. My hubby had just changed his farming policy from an intensive dairy farm to working towards organic

The Brief History of Gamelea Countryside Training Trust

Became a charitable Trust and Company limited by guarantee in 1999

Had our first Students with Learning Disabilities in September 2000

Became a Franchise of Chesterfield College in January 2001

Various projects funded by ESF ACLF Lloyds TSB, Llankelly, Lottery, Children in Need, Niace and various Trust funds .

Gamelea Chicks

What did Gamelea do?

It Delivered vocational qualifications in rural skills to :

People with Learning Disabilities

People with Mental health problems

Young people excluded or in danger of exclusion form school, many of whom were in trouble with the law.

Gamelea Raised Beds

 organic vegetables were grown in raised beds, they were used to make meals and or used in the cafe which was open to the publicGamelea Perennials

Watering the perennials in the sales area

A commercial plant nursery was established and real work opportunities were given to people who had never experienced the world of work and had not interacted with the general public before.

Gamelea Weeding Onions

Weeding the Onions

Gamelea Gary

this student – preparing old barn ready for renovation, became an employee

Gamlea Rabbits

Small animal hotel

in order for the project to become sustainable small enterprises were created. the small animal hotel being one.

Gamelea Sheep

Good Shepherds

My husband still ran the farm commercially and the students were able to get involved in many aspects of farm life

Gamelea Llama

Llama kisses

We had been given these Llamas and they were a great source of amusement

Gamelea Medieval

Medieval Marketeers

WE sold our plants on local markets

Gamelea Egg Grading

Grading Eggs by touch

many of our students had disabilities and were blind and deaf

Gamelea Aprons

Making Aprons

during inclement weather the students made items for the farm shop to help to raise funds

Gamelea Prize Giving

Happiness is a certificate

Every year we combined a Christmas party with  a prize giving day, we hired a local hall and invited friends and family so they could be proud of our students when they received their certif

Gamelea Marvin

Some of our activities were instigated by dedicated members of staff. We had a raptor enthusiast and as a consequence our students learnt to handle Buzzards and Barn Owls

Gamelea Piglets

Gorgeous Grunters

Pigs when they are handled are very friendly and the students loved feeding and tending to them. Little piglets are highly amusing.

OCN qualifications and work opportunities


Ornamental plants and trees

Organic vegetable production

Animal Care



Garden furniture

Animal housing




Free range egg production

Small animal hotel

Dry Stonewalling


Horse/Donkey Care

Retail opportunities in the small farm shop, nursery, free range egg unit and on local farmers markets and agricultural shows.

We Created a sustainable enterprise

Trained disadvantaged and socially excluded people in skills for work

Gave employment opportunities to socially excluded people

The Secret

We were successful because:-

We welcomed everyone

We had 200 acres of glorious countryside

Dedicated and talented Staff

Non judgemental Animals

Courage to push the boundaries

Ability to bounce back from the knocks – every day is a new day

We created a happy and positive atmosphere

Gamelea Donkey Birth 3

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