The children

The charity has been supporting the most deprived and disadvantaged children of Leeds for well over 100 years. While we may have undergone many changes, our focus has always remained the same – help the children who need it most.

The children we support are mostly aged between 7 and 11, and suffer abuse or neglect in their daily lives, live in poverty, or act as a young carer for a parent, sibling or other relative. Some children come for a day of respite, others for a week. They are referred to us by schools or social workers with the full support of their family or guardians. We work closely with schools in the most deprived areas of Leeds so that we can help as many of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children as possible.

Neglected Children

Some parents or carers struggle to care for their children due to alcohol or substance abuse, mental illness or change in circumstances. This can lead to the children suffering neglect in terms of basic hygiene, nutrition and loving interactions. Neglected children are often withdrawn and need guidance with basic tasks such as washing and dressing. A respite break at Lineham Farm can help them build their confidence with these tasks, as well as providing some fun memories and new experiences.

"When my sister was happy, that was special for me."

Children Living in Poverty

Statistics show that as many as 20% of children in Leeds live in poverty and in some areas of the city, that figure is far higher – up to 55%. Children living in poverty often go without proper meals, hot water, heating, new clothes or shoes, hygiene products and toys. A holiday is not even a consideration for these families. During their stay with us, we ensure the children get three nutritious meals a day, a clean, warm bed to sleep in, and an abundance of toys and games to play with.

Victims of abuse

The Crime Survey for England and Wales estimates that one in five children will experience abuse before the age of 16. Abuse may be sexual, physical or emotional and may have been at the hands of parents, siblings, carers, other relatives or family friends. Abuse can be difficult for children to process and can lead to both short-term
and long-term issues with mental health.

At Lineham Farm, we provide children with a safe, secure environment where they can be free from fear and violence.

“Leeds Children’s Charity offers something that we cannot – the opportunity for children to ‘get away’ from the oppressive circumstances that they find themselves in.”

Young carers

Looking after a parent who is ill, disabled or incapacitated can take an emotional and physical toll on a child. Rather than experiencing the care-free childhood that others their age are used to, they spend time doing domestic chores and assisting their parents with tasks like washing and dressing. Although many young carers cope well and there is support available, it can still be exhausting. A respite break at Lineham Farm allows young carers to take time out for themselves – to have fun, try new things and just enjoy being a child.

Family intervention

Once children enter the care system, the cost to the child and to society can be high. Many don’t return to their family home, and siblings are often separated. Working alongside MST-CAN Leeds, we’ve been trying to reduce the number of children being taken into care. While we focus on working with the children, MST-CAN supports the parents. During their time at the centre, the children get the chance to learn how they relate to others and how to cope with isolation, bullying and other issues.

Learn more

Our impact

The work we do not only benefits the children we care for, but the wider community too. Find out more about the impact of our work.

Schools

Make Lineham Farm the destination for your next school trip and let your pupils and staff experience learning in the great outdoors.

Ways to give

We couldn’t continue our valuable work without the support of local businesses and individuals – and there are loads of ways you can help.