Giving struggling children a change of scene

4th July 2018

Change of Scene provides a place of tranquillity and positive experiences for children from educationally, economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds who feel they would benefit from a change of scene. The charity works with a small number of children on a one-to-one basis, with intensive support calculated to make a ‘life-changing difference for a few, rather than a marginal difference for many.’ 


“At Change of Scene, we seek to change the lives of disadvantaged children. Our attendees, aged 6-18 years, many from the more deprived areas of Surrey and Hampshire, display complex social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties and flounder in mainstream education. Many have been temporarily or permanently excluded from schools, are in short term provision or not on a school role; all are in urgent need of a life changing experience to help them fulfil their potential and enable them to return to sustainable education.”

– Sue Weaver, Voluntary Chief Officer


The children experience nature in many ways. They are given the responsibility to care for a wide range of animals, learn how to grow and cook with fresh produce planted on site, and develop practical skills in repairing animal houses – these are just some of the activities children can do when attending Change of Scene.

We are delighted to have awarded a number of grants to Change of Scene for Horticultural equipment and training, to support an AQA Unit Award scheme focused on outdoor practical learning, as well as core costs in order to maintain the 16 acre small holding, to name but a few.

To date, the charity has provided support to the 155 children that have attended sessions, and assisted 86 disadvantaged children to return to education and more promising futures.

Katie Owen, our Grants Officer was delighted to spend a day volunteering at this Farnham based charity.


“Whilst I need no introduction to Change of Scene; choosing to volunteer for the day gave me an even deeper understanding of the life changing impact this great project can have on the young people that attend.

Rolling up my sleeves, I got stuck in to a range of tasks over the day from jarring honey to mucking out Yoghurt, the goat. I even bumped in to the High Sheriff, Jim Glover on his visit to the site!

In the afternoon ex-attendees of the project visited to see the baby Alpacas and it was through this experience I took note of the lasting bond the project had forged between the young people, the environment and the support workers.

An inspiring day of volunteering was had and hats off to those volunteers who support the charity on a regular basis. What a great change of scene!”

– Katie Owen, Community Foundation for Surrey