The vision for the project was the result of Joyce Dean fostering disaffected 16 year olds. She discovered that after they left her house at 08:00, to return at 18:00, there was no provision for them, they were left to roam the streets. This was the driving force behind the forming of the Joseph Trust.
In 2005 we gained charitable status, and Joyce became the first manager of the new charitable trust. Under her stewardship the Trust worked with young offenders and students not in mainstream education, with successes that are still being felt today. We began doing outward bound work with Steve Windass, including canoeing, archery and climbing.
In 2006 we moved our operations to Rossmoor Grange Farm near Storwood and Melbourne, with workshop and garages. We put up two polytunnels, and started the poultry flock.
In 2010 Derick Frary became the manager and immediately began a programme of activity to develop the site’s infrastructure – upgrading the workshop and garage, expanding and redeveloping the poultry area, bringing much more land under cultivation and broadening the range of student activities.
In 2015 Dan Beech took over as manager and has been extending our contacts with schools and working closely to align student activity at the farm with curricular work. We are demonstrating that our work has measurable success with students and makes a difference to their future prospects. We are developing links with other charities such as Christians Against Poverty, the York Food Bank and Carecent (for whom we grow produce), and Edible York.