Supporting Statements

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Kerith Community Church

Simon Benham – Pastor, Kerith Community Church

Our church has partnered for a number of years with Yeldall Manor in their excellent work helping men who are seeking to overcome life controlling addictions. As part of our partnership we regularly have Yeldall residents coming to the 6pm service at our Bracknell site.

It was at one of these meetings that I first met Tony when he came forward for prayer and had an encounter with God which transformed his life. We saw the fruit of this transformation as he spent a year volunteering with us, on both our site services team and helping in our midweek cafe which serves people accessing our social justice ministries.

Tony is now devoting his time to establishing Hope and Vision Communities, an initiative which is desperately needed and which I am sure Tony has both the passion and skills to deliver. Simon Benham – Pastor, Kerith Community Church

Councillor Sara Hyde

I’m Sara Hyde and I’ve worked for over a decade in and around the prison system. Following a first career in theatre, I worked in HMP Holloway, then with women post-release as a frontline mentor and group facilitator, and latterly managing holistic support services for women. Since 2017, I’ve worked on reducing deaths in custody, and recently became a Research Assistant at the University of Nottingham.

I have been involved in the community on Caledonian Road (behind King’s Cross) for the last 16 years and in May 2018 became a Labour councillor there. I’ve also stood for the London Assembly and for parliament. I am the Chair of Fabian Women’s Network.

Through my community work and day job, I have seen repeatedly, first-hand, the crucial role of stable housing in a variety of different scenarios and ‘recovery’ journeys. It becomes clear very quickly that most people in the justice system have histories of trauma that then manifests in addiction and/or mental health issues. This is then exacerbated by insecure/no housing. The statistics bear this out and so does heart-breaking story after heart-breaking story.

We are desperate for provision like that proposed by Hope and Vision Communities. A holistic, integrated response, a caring place to live that understands the role of trauma and adverse childhood events in the roots of addiction. A place where relationship is paramount to the healing restorative journey of the residents, where people have the security of a roof over their heads as they begin the next phase of recovery, exploring more independently the world of work and living crime free. A nationwide network of halfway houses is needed to bridge the gap between being a recipient of services in a rehab to living a fully independent life, being an active citizen and realising the potential and unique beauty carried in each person.

Hope and Vision Communities has been created by expert Tony Attwood with the participant in mind first and foremost, to enable and assist in their journey out of addiction and crime and into abundant life. I am delighted to support his fantastic initiative.