Saturday, March 29, 2008

One of a kind

The front page of this week's Tunbridge Wells Courier carries a salutory headline - "Town's Secret Drink Problem Revealed".

The Kenward Trust ( is a Christian charity which operates from Yalding in Kent, helping hundreds to break the cycle of drug and alcohol abuse. Their report on the culture of dependence in Tunbridge Wells makes shocking reading. Godfrey Featherstone, a director of the Trust, is quoted as saying that "people shut themselves in their houses and drink themselves to death".

I've known Godfrey - and the Kenward Trust - for some years, indeed I asked them to come along to Pembury in 2002 with their excellent "Grey Zebra" project for young people. The results were truly remarkable.

Godfrey and I both come from Bermondsey, which gave us something of a common bond. I've always respected his no-nonsense approach and the truly passionate manner in which he dealt with the problems of those around him.

Sadly, on Friday of next week, Godfrey celebrates his retirement from the Kenward Trust. Although noone deserves the rest more than him the Kenward Trust - and those it serves - will be the poorer for his leaving. Godfrey is truly one of a kind.

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