For the last twelve months, The Ruach Trust have explored the possibility of developing our first apprenticeship programme at Highfields Farm, home of Highfields Happy Hens. This week, the decision was made, very regretfully, to stop exploring that possibility with Roger and Beryl Hoskings.


While no figure could adequately reflect the passionate investment of Roger and Beryl into the community for thirty years, for the last twelve months we have been working on a financial solution to work at Highfields that would allow for Roger and Beryl to be supported into their retirement. Unfortunately, after a year of planning and preparation, detailed financial modelling, and after protracted discussions with lenders and investors, we find that we are unable to raise sufficient funds to make a financial offer to Roger and Beryl that we would be comfortable with offering, and that would allow the Trust to achieve its objectives at the farm.


So with great reluctance we are no longer pursuing a future at Highfields Farm.


It is a sad day for the Trust, and for Roger and Beryl too, but we look forward in hope. We wish Roger, Beryl and their staff every success with their future and their remarkable ministry, while we look forward too, knowing that we are called to this local area, but not quite knowing how. God has greatly blessed our journey here so far, and remains with now. At the moment we feel a huge sense of disappointment (and some frustration!), but as one of our trustees reminds us during the week: the cross looked like the most magnificent failure, but in reality was an enormous victory. And so we go on trusting that this year of investment will be used by God as part of our ongoing story.


Our call to Derbyshire and to its young people is as strong as ever, and we continue our work here building relationship with local schools and providers, and exploring potential partnerships. Jane continues her work with the Church and with the Elvaston Castle Development Board, and we look for opportunities to build on this in new ways over the coming months.


We’re so thankful that you have stood alongside us on the journey so far, and please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.