Thursday, 31 May 2018

Visiting the wonderful Betel House in Hexham

Betel House in Hexham is a special place. I recently revisited the site and met with Sir Peter Vardy, and David and Brenda Cox, who run Betel House in Hexham. The site is part of Betel UK, an independent charity (not funded by the state) for people affected by the hardships that lead to social exclusion, long term unemployment, homelessness, and addiction. The Hexham site provides a tried and tested model of recovery and retraining in a safe, structured, family-like environment with consistent peer-support. Residents are encouraged to aspire to a new and healthier lifestyle and learn character-building principles at home, and through work, to enable them to build a stable and drug/alcohol-free future for themselves. Residents also help to fund their own recovery by working in a charitable business, which in Hexham includes furniture repair and gardening. I have visited several times and featured Betel in my book Doing Time. It was also inspiring to meet and listen to David and Brenda and to learn all about the work they are doing that is helping local people to recover and make a better life for themselves. I am a massive supporter of what they do.