Francis Maude Visit

A very busy day yesterday. Canvassing sessions morning and afternoon were interspersed by a visit from Francis Maude at lunch time.

Together we met Kent Martin, the Chief Executive of Betel of Britain, a faith-based group who help drug addicts to become clean. Their motto is “giving broken lives a new direction”.  The people following their programme do not use heroin substitutes but instead go for abstinence.

Betel, which has branches in several areas of the country now, is self-funding. The former drug addicts do work such as gardening, upholstery and furniture restoration to earn the money to fund the the programme and homes where they stay.

We met up with a team who were doing gardening work at a house in Edgbaston and who were happy to share their stories with Francis Maude.April 2010 243

One of the great things about Betel is that, because they are self funding, there is no limit to the time a person can stay, and they can usually take people immediately (no waiting for weeks or  months to start the programme which is very important).

In the evening I took part in a Radio WM Health debate, and this is covered in a story on the News section of the wesbite.

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