A Yorkshire garden party held at Skipwith Hall has raised over £16,000 for charity.
More than 120 guests from across the county attended the event recently, which was held to raise funds for The Bridges in Hull - a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre for ex-prisoners. Speakers at the event included a former client of The Bridges named Michael, who spoke eloquently about how the centre had helped him kick a life of crime and addiction. David Bernstein, chair of the Forward Trust who run the centre, also spoke at the event, as well as Simon Reevell, chair of The Bridges Fundraising Advisory Group.
The former chairman of The Bridges and ex-high sheriff for North Yorkshire, Charlie Forbes Adam and his wife Rosalind hosted the special evening. He said: “Former clients from The Bridges, mostly ex-prisoners who are now living productive lives free from drugs, alcohol and crime, sold raffle tickets and helped to make the evening the success it was. It was incredibly life-enhancing and humbling to see how they have turned their lives around - all thanks to The Bridges.” Michael, a Bridges graduate from Luton, told guests that the centre had given meaning and purpose to his life: “I was on a spiral of self-destruction, with low self-esteem and no hope. The counselling and friendship I have found at The Bridges has been amazing. It has been absolutely wonderful for me. I cannot thank everyone there enough.”
Statistics state that over half the prison population in the UK are serving sentences related to drug addiction and alcohol plays a part in over half of all violent crimes. Around 60 per cent of people released from prison will go on to re-offend within two years. However, the recidivism rate is much lower for ex-clients of The Bridges - 76 per cent of recent clients so far have not reoffended within a year. Laura Ganpot, events manager at the Forward Trust, commented: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Charlie and Ros for welcoming us all to Skipwith Hall. What a spectacular setting and an amazing opportunity for us to tell people about The Bridges. “Without the kind support of the Fundraising Advisory Group, who have been holding events in aid of The Bridges for over 11 years and have raised over £1million for us in that time, we simply would not be able to continue offering our Hull-based life-changing and life-saving rehabilitation services to those who need them the most. “We are all acutely aware of the struggle to get funding to support The Bridges, both from public and voluntary income. The Fundraising Advisory Group has done an amazing job raising such a significant amount today and in all of its impressive fundraising efforts across the year. We are truly grateful.”
Live music was played by a band. (09-09-64 SU)