This week, Bishop Nick visited Crag House Farm in Cookridge, the headquarters for the Christian charity Caring For Life, which supports disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Leeds.
The charity cares for those who have ‘slipped through the net’”, providing accommodation, support in the community and therapeutic daytime activities. It says its motto is simply to “share the love of Jesus”.
Bishop Nick says, “Crag House Farm is remarkable – it’s a place of vision, professionalism and compassion.
"And the charity lives up to its name ‘Caring for Life’, as the practical and emotional support they provide is often life-long”.
Their high quality restaurant, farm shop and garden nurseries are very popular, but not many know about the surrounding 125 acre farm, which is made up of agricultural land for Longhorn cattle, Lleyn sheep, horses and poultry. The farm is used to host 14 therapeutic daytime projects, including horticulture, animal welfare, woodwork, media, literacy, mechanics, music, butchery, catering and art.
Founder, Peter Parkinson (left), says, “The daytime projects help vulnerable people to achieve a settled, constructive lifestyle. Over the years we’ve seen many people blossom and even move on to fulltime employment. Others have found a ‘home’ where they feel safe and secure, and can speak freely about their concerns.
“For many, the farm has become their place of ‘work’, where they will say, ‘Come and see MY farm and meet MY animals.’ This sense of ownership and belonging shows a remarkable transformation in the lives of people who’ve had very little purpose and expectation of achievement.”
85% of Caring for Life’s income comes from Christian supporters. They have recently lost government funding because they don’t restrict the length of time people can spend with them, so the support of churches is vital to their work.
How you can support Caring for Life
- Visit their restaurant, café, farm shop and garden nurseries. More here.
- Invite someone from Caring for Life to speak at your church.
- Let young people know about the gap year programme they offer, ‘Time for Jesus’. More here.