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“Alright, Chris, you a Grandad then”.

“Er, no”.

“Oh, sorry mate, they said you turned 60, my Grandad’s much the same age.”

I start to do the maths, but give up…  accepting probably everything is possible.

“How will LandWorks manage without you?”

Oh dear! I assure him that I’m not going anywhere and 60 is not some sort of precipice.

We are asked this sort of question more regularly these days. Often framed as… the only way LandWorks could continue or be repeated elsewhere is by finding another ‘Chris’, a ‘clone’.

The intention is of course meant in a flattering way (and very nice too) but it’s not the real picture and I worry that this just means I perhaps haven’t explained LandWorks well enough, or maybe disclosed enough about myself.

It’s hard to say exactly what the ‘inner drive’ is that one needs to run a ‘LandWorks’.

I wanted this to work for many reasons. I realise now that I did have a burning desire within me… which stemmed from the deaths of two young men who had both worked for me, both deaths around drugs and difficult issues. I felt an intense (deeply hidden) guilt that I could have/should have done more.

That has eased now, but my passion to support people to become something better than the situations they are in, so often simply born into, remains a constant.

If I had to find a description, I am probably a ’social entrepreneur’ and that was important to get LandWorks going. And a sense of optimism is no doubt, helpful.

But the real point here is that LandWorks is or certainly symbolises community and that is why it works.

It is not one person; it is many people all coming together.

I think LandWorks is very straightforward, understandable, and for many people that is a basic essential to a good life, community.

Why it is not all about one person is because the LandWorks ethos, our core guiding principles, attract so many people who want to be involved, and critically need to be involved for this to work. It’s worth looking at our Annual report, it’s all there.

So, from this firm foundation built over the last 10 years LandWorks could be replicated. It’s just one example of many. Worth noting His Majesty’s Prison estates have 100’s of acres of land doing nothing, potentially an ideal LandWorks location.

I could take my grandkids to visit.


27th April 2023