Delivering the vision

A look at the work the CLA Charitable Trust has embarked on recently to ensure it remains focused on its vision – widening access to the countryside

The new board of trustees at the CLA Charitable Trust has been working hard reviewing what we would like to achieve in our time together and how best to do this. The original vision and objects set out when the Trust was founded in 1980 are as relevant as ever today, if not more so.

Enabling access to the countryside for those who find it difficult or are limited, whether through physical, mental, geographical or social circumstances, remains very much at the forefront of what we do. Combining this, where appropriate, with education to provide a deeper understanding of farming and the rural environment further strengthens this work.

The Trust will continue to support charities, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises in England and Wales that fulfil these aspirations with grants towards running costs as well as specific capital projects. We are continually impressed by the work these organisations do. The impact of the last year, combined with the desire they have to bounce back even stronger, is inspirational.

The Trust will also continue to provide educational bursaries within the rural sector to promote and encourage education in sustainable farming, food production and rural land management

Supporting charities

IMG_0732 - CLA Charitable Trust.jpg

East Clayton Farm in West Sussex is one of the charities supported. Nestled in the South Downs National Park, the charity works with young children and adults who are in danger of exclusion or struggling in mainstream education. Working with these people on the farm, whether on the land or with animals, improves their self-esteem, achievement, employment skills and wellbeing.

In addition, they can work towards vocational qualifications and skills, which will further assist their employability in the future. The funding provided by CLA Charitable Trust will allow the charity to create a safe space for 1:1 work with young people aged seven to 11, independent from the group areas, where younger children can interact with animals and have space to develop their confidence and sense of security. These young people are not yet ready to work in groups, but this individually tailored work helps and gives them the confidence to do so.

The full impact of Covid-19 on our young people is only just being fully appreciated. Months of isolation and online learning have had a severe effect on those already struggling with anxiety and vulnerabilities.

Thanks to the generosity of CLA members, the Trust has also been able to fund another wonderful charity, The Veterans Farm-Able Foundation in Devon. It supports veterans and emergency services personnel to improve their mental health through working and gaining hands on experience in agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Through this work they re-establish connections within their communities and, with support, build their confidence, independence and resilience

East Clayton Farm
Interested in applying for funding?

If you are aware of, or involved in, any charities in your area whose work fits these objects and that would benefit from funding, please encourage them to get in touch. The Trust is keen to support the work being done to encourage access to the benefits of the countryside. Email