Everyone has a special gift they can give.
From making pottery to milking cows, work in our communities gives people satisfying chances to develop skills and express their gifts.
Cathy, for example (left), has a gift for working with clay. She loves sharing her knowledge and skill as a potter with people of all ages, at the Paint Your Own Pot workshop she runs with support from our community at Taurus Crafts. When Taurus Crafts (and all of Gloucestershire) lost social services funding for work activities, Taurus kept its determination to support Cathy to keep thriving and developing.
Please, would you give a gift to keep our workshops, farms, gardens and enterprises alive, and help people to thrive?
Sustaining our farms is now a real challenge
'One thing that's always clear to me is people's pride in their work', says Justin (centre), who oversees farming at Botton Village. Along with lots of crops, pigs and sheep, there are 55 dairy cows, producing up to 900 litres of milk a day. So Neil (left) and others on the farming team have something really tangible to show for their efforts. Plus, the milk creates good work for Rob (right) and his colleagues at the Botton Creamery.
Rob says, 'I really like it. It's very friendly. We get quite a lot of customers. We have cheeses, like Moorland Tomme, that you wouldn't get in a supermarket. You'd probably get brie, gouda and cheddar. But you wouldn't get the Moorland Tomme'.
'The skills people develop add further to their sense of self worth', Justin adds. However, with the high vosts of replacing ageing farm equipment, the challenge of sustaining this proud, productive work is now acute.
Our craft workshops need support to continue
'Since I came to the Grange I've been working in the Pottery', says Ian (left with his friend Leo). He's learned the craft since he was at school: 'I trained for four and half years doing all different techniques. I loved it even though it was hard work'.
Now, with the support of his community, Ian is taking his pottery to the next level. He's worked with a visiting volunteer to develop a unique style, and also thought about ways to sell his work at local markets. It's been a success!
Whether it's a beautiful bowl, a wooden toy, a willow basket or woven rug, making lovely items that others want to buy gives people in our communities great pleasure. But with essential funding gone, our workshops, and everyone they exist for, need financial help to continue.
Friendship is the gift that helps us thrive
What four things do plants require to grow? Gary knows. 'Air, water, soil and sun.'
With the support of Clare, this September he completed a horticulture course that has helped him develop as a gardener. 'I've learned to do more things', he explains.
'I've worked in the garden at Oaklands a long time', he says. Now he knows not just what to do, but more about why.
The course also taught him some new skills, like how to use a strimmer. 'You have to be careful. You wear goggles over your eyes, and also ear muffs because it's so loud'.
Gary thrives on the steady routine of his working life at Oaklands. 'I have my breakfast, then I feed my rabbit, Spotty, and then I go down to the garden to work.'
It's the caring support of people like Clare, and friends like you, that make it all possible.
Please give a gift
With the help of friends like you, we've built up many different ways for people to share their special gifts and talents with the world. Jim, for example, is excited to be involved in a new car-cleaning venture at Taurus Crafts.
Meaningful work activities give pride, joy and confidence to people who would otherwise struggle to find a satisfying role in life. And we do all we can to make our activities self-financing.
But we're battling a big funding shortfall. Across our communities we're fighting to sustain craft workshops, farms gardens and enterprises, that enable Cathy and others to discover and share their special gifts with the world in real ways. Your gift would help bridge the financial shortfall and help people to thrive.