As a member of the BAME community, and having personally experienced the difficulties; and challenges that people of colour face in Britain today. I know first hand what a huge difference it has made to my life working and living in the countryside. We would like to give young people from the BAME community a positive experience of rural England. We have a 26 acres farm that is being developed to provide habitats for animals, nature and the environment; it is an amazing place for people to learn new skills for life. We have spent the past 12 years developing the site. We have lots of work to do; from dry stone walling, to renovating a stone barn, building and expanding a pond, planting trees, developing high quality green corridors and lush green areas on the land, animal husbandry, growing vegetables and creating a Perma culture market garden plot. Working on the land brings its challenges and; and also many rewards.
We provide health and well being services in the North west of England. We are a registered community interest company that was formed in 2005. We are the sister organisation to a charity called Shiva Trust. We have no paid staff and are solely ran by volunteers. Our three directors are all from Bame backgrounds; and have experience in Counselling, the arts and business. We are clear that we want to offer emotional support to those in need. We work with the marginal people within our society. Our beneficiaries issues vary from substance abuse users, people with convictions, Mental health issues or people dealing with anxiety and stress.
We benefit so much from working in the wide open spaces; and we feel that its good respite for those living in inner cities. To be able to have dreams of a better future, it helps to see people who you can identify with; and relate to. Figures from the 2011 census indicated that only 3% of the population of rural areas were Black and minority ethnic (BAME), compared with 17% in urban areas. How many inner cities BAME's are dreaming of living in the country side; or being farmers, driving a tractor or planting crops?
Alex was a drug user and had deteriorating mental health. He was 18 when he arrived at the farm. These transformational journeys are not for the faint hearted; but he could see he needed help. Over time carrying out tasks at the farm; and having a sense of purpose; his drug use dropped away. He worked with the animals, planted trees and carried out general farm duties. We are big advocates of Yoga, Meditation and breathing practices as tools to deal with the body and mind. This helped Alex deal with his mind, and body; and the land /animals dealt with the rest. Over time he turned from a withering weed to a flourishing flower. The transformation was such a beautiful process to watch and to be a part of. Now Alex is in a stable loving relationship; and a successful entrepreneur, living the kind of life he always deserved. His mother and father are both really happy and avid supporters of our work.
The money raised during our campaign will help us provide equipment suitable for working on a rural farm. We will be providing training and education and the money will be used for all the costs related to this. Transport will be an issue for some as we are 5 miles from the nearest town, and not easily accessible. We will be able to provide costs for travel to the those who need a helping hand financially to attend.
Our over crowdfunding target is to purchase a tractor, and teach young people how to use it on the land.