26 December 1997

UPDATE

ON YEAR OF HEARTFELT CARE

Caring for Life was among the

charities featured in Farmlife

during the past year and

one that Farmlife readers

took to heart. We take this

opportunity to give you an up

date on this and other

stories of 1997

IT is a terrible thing to be homeless, to have no one who cares whether you sleep in a box or even the gutter, and while it may stir the publics conscience at Christmas, for the people involved it can be a year round torment.

In March we featured Crag House Farm, Leeds, where homeless teenagers are found accommodation and given the chance to work for a future.

Animal husbandry, woodwork, car maintenance, a plant nursery and the opening of an agricultural museum are among the projects on the farm which offer training for the youngsters – most of whom have spent their childhood in care – and also raise money to provide them with accommodation.

Readers responded to this very practical scheme run by the charity Caring For Life with a number of individual monetary donations and some very much needed equipment.

This included a 100-year-old horse drawn cart, a 1950s fertiliser spreader, a bale elevator, a 1940s binder and a selection of horse harness and tack. Someone even gave a Suffolk Punch horse together with an arrangement to pay for insurance and vet bills for the animal. A Yorkshire trust has also arranged an annual donation in response to the Farmlife article.

&#42 Commercial potential

"We are most grateful for all the donations," says Pam Parkinson of CFL, "and we now have two young men involved in caring for the heavy horses plus new trainees working on projects. Funding permitting we would like to maximise the commercial potential of the farm to create more placements," she adds.

More land for this city edge farm is the dream, but in reality horse-drawn equipment and a much-needed tractor are first priorities.

If you feel you can help, please contact Caring For Life, Crag House Farm, Cookridge, Leeds LS16 7NH. (0113 261 2131).

Training to work with horses or in wood (below) helps teenagers come to terms with life and build a future.

Residents and staff check the Longhorn cattle. Developing the museum will mean more placements.