A charity shop in Sea Road will soon close its doors because it has been so successful.
The Hope Foundation Trust, set up by Derek Peterson, was started to help drug addicts and alcoholics in a town called Lamka in North East India.
All aims have been realised so Derek is closing the shop down but thankful for help and support from Bexhill in creating a centre for young men battling addiction.
Derek said: “The story started when I was living and working in Cambridgeshire in 2004, where I met a young Indian man called Lal who was volunteering in the Project where I was employed. Over a two year period Lal told us of many stories of problems that young men were having with drug and alcohol addiction in and around the area of the town of Lamka where he lived.
Before Lal left England he invited me to visit his home town to see his family and also to witness the problems of drug addiction for myself.
In 2006, my wife and I moved down to live in Bexhill and in March 2007 I visited Lamka for the first time and met Lal’s family. It was here that I met Suan – Lal’s elder brother. Suan had for a long time wanted to see a Centre built in Lamka where people affected by drug and alcohol could find help and support to overcome these issues. I talked over the idea with Suan, and tentatively offered my support to try and help him in some way.”
Derek worked in a group of six people to form the charity Hope Foundation Trust (UK) and with financial support was able to open the charity shop in April 2008 which was the means of raising the money for the building of the Centre in Lamka.
The group was given a 2.5acre piece of land and was able to start building that year and by the end of 2009 had contstructed its first permanent house.
In September 2010 building began on the main block which would house the residents – this building was named Trinity House, and when the project was completed in early 2013 it was called the Trinity Centre.
“We took our first resident in on April 9 2013 and I was able to visit the Project a week later and witness for myself the Centre up and running. Initially there were 24 places in the Centre and these were very quickly taken up. The Centre is staffed by a manager, a warden, a cook, an administrator and various other staff including a nurse, a counsellor and we also have visits by a local GP and from Medecin sans Frontières. They also have the support of local Church Ministers.
Just three weeks ago we heard that three residents have left the Centre and returned back into their homes and family and work after spending around 8 – 9 months at the Centre.”
The Sea Road shop will close on March 1 and there will be a sale during February. The trustees and manager thank their supporters in Bexhill.