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Rachel McAlley: Teen Challenge Leeds

Rachel McAlley

Teen Challenge Leeds is one of those ‘under the radar’ charities that helps teens get off the streets and back on the right track. It is affiliated to Teen Challenge UK which started in the 1970s and is part of the Teen Challenge global network which has been in existence for over 50 years, and is still going strong; very strong in Leeds.

The outreach team from Teen Challenge Leeds, who work on a voluntary or employed basis, do so because they believe that everybody deserves another chance. Teen Challenge takes the message of Christian values to people on the streets, people who have messed up, who have lost all sense of self-worth, self-esteem and often the will to live, and it gives them hope.

Teen Challenge Leeds provides an outreach trailer, which visits Horsforth, Holbeck, Chapeltown, Castleford, Bradford and Harrogate with an open door policy for anyone to visit. They share hope, offer comfort, a hot drink and snack to those in need the most. It’s a great start to getting vulnerable and troubled teens the help that they need.

Alongside Teen Challenge Leeds, there’s another secret gem that supports and helps the homeless of Leeds and surrounding areas.

Horizon Life Training is an unusual yet brilliant concept, which offers to provide training and qualifications in a caring and supportive environment, and it gives people who have turned their lives around a second chance. Horizon Life Training gives them the opportunity to acquire skills and prove their newfound ability to cope with the disciplines of the workplace.

The programme consists of 12-months residential skills training at Kennel Hall Farm just outside Harrogate, in agriculture, joinery, landscaping and catering, providing life-changing skills. The amazing journey of transformation and the Christian beliefs and values is what sits at the heart of Horizon Life Training.

The team at Horizon Life Training are embarking on a massive redevelopment of an old pub heading out towards Otley, they are turning it into a women’s centre with café, retail outlets, outdoor children’s play area, all with a stunning views of the valley, and it will be run by a number of women that are going through the 12-month residential programme.

I’m personally a huge fan of both Teen Challenge Leeds and Horizon Life Training because of my association with StreetSmart Leeds, which is fully supported by the team at City Dweller Magazine.

I hope the women’s centre, which is due to open in August this year, and is going to be called ‘Experience Coffee’ is a huge success and that you, the people of Leeds take the chance to visit for a coffee and homemade cake.

For more information about the work of Teen Challenge Leeds and Horizon Life Training feel free to look at: www.horizonlifetraining.org.uk

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