Sheep may safely graze

As a Social Anthropology student who has previously worked on projects with my department into farming (50 years, 50 stories), alongside a history of living within the Kent countryside, a two week work experience placement with Romney Marsh Wools seemed a natural fit.

A small, family run business based in Aldington, Romney Marsh Wools was established in 2008, diversifying their sheep-farm into what it is today: a thriving producer of luxury throws, scarves, lanolin-based toiletries, and even cuddly toys and stationery!

I applied for the placement through the University of Kent’s CV Competition, and in the midst of exam revision, I was delighted with the news that I had won.

On my first day there, I was introduced to Kristina, the owner, and Emma, both of whom make up the entirety of the office staff (I did say it was a small business!). This proved to be invaluable throughout my work experience, as without the close support of Emma and Kristina, I would not have had the experience that I did. I carried out a variety of tasks assisting with social media marketing, such as scheduling Facebook posts, writing newsletters for their email list, and updating product details on their website, to name a few! An additional bonus to my time there were the two lambs on site that Emma was looking after. Malcolm and Levi greeted me daily with their little ‘baaas’ (inevitably hoping I had a bottle of milk!). On my final day, I was lucky enough to be able to have my photo taken with Malcolm!

During my second week there, I had the opportunity to go and observe Paul, Kristina’s husband, shearing the sheep. It was extremely interesting to watch, and Paul is undoubtedly talented at what he does: the awards dotted around the office of sheep shearing competitions he’s won, are testament to this.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them, and due to the small size of the business, I really felt that I was able to contribute fully, as well as being able to see everything that is involved in maintaining such a company – and it’s more than you think! During the placement, I improved my current skills, and learnt several new ones along the way.

Kristina, Emma, Paul, and all the show representatives work incredibly hard, and I have them to thank for making this work experience as memorable as it was, and the University of Kent Careers and Employability Service for making it possible.

– Katy Sharpe, 3rd year Social Anthropology

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