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Unlocking people... releasing potential


News Inside


• Residents’ stories of freedom and hope • Horticulture project update


• Big thanks for funding

RESIDENTS’ STORIES “ “ I have been battling with addiction to alcohol and prescription medication for over 10 years and have found it very challenging to come to terms with some deep rooted issues over those years.

chains that have kept me bound for years. I now have a real passion for gardening and how therapeutic it can be and what a great source of wellbeing it is. I now have a hope for a good future.”

The love and faithfulness of God never ceases to amaze me and he directed me here in May to a place where all you receive is love and kindness. I am truly grateful to be with these women, it is a very special place. I am working through the Genesis Process with my counsellor which is really digging up those roots and helping me realise some key things, which I believe will lead to the unlocking of the

- Laura

Before coming to Gilead I was in and out of hostels occasionally sleeping rough, addicted to drugs and alcohol. The support I’ve received since I’ve lived at Gilead has helped me regain mental stability so that I can start building the foundations for a better life. I now have so much hope for the future.”

- Jade

I have survived a 27 year addiction. I grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, in a one parent family. I left home at sixteen to live on the streets after things became unbearable at home. I started selling drugs, commiting crime and got involved with some really wrong people. It wasn’t long before I was taking the drugs I was selling. I woke up one morning addicted. I medicated my hurting rejected heart with heroin. This continued for the next twenty five years. I had never worked, never stayed in the same place for more than a couple of years.

while finding out more about myself. Having absolutely no skills and never worked before, I now find myself milking cows, gardening and studying plant biology, collecting chicken eggs, and have discovered I enjoy and have a talent for cooking. I also have the perfect opportunity to draw closer to God and identify and deal with some key issues and root causes of my addiction through the Genesis Process, which is a relapse prevention course.”

- Sharon

I’m learning at Gilead how to walk out a substance free life,

OUR GARDENER... In 2013 I decided to change career. I had always loved gardening and the outdoors, so I retrained in horticulture, moving to Devon with my husband and Marley (our black cat) to complete my training at RHS Rosemoor.

to fund local projects to support the unemployed and inactive helping them into employment, education or training and Gilead believed that through a gardening programme they would be able to offer this support.

In July this year Gilead launched their new horticulture and gardening skills training programme, thanks to a grant received from Europe! The Community Grant’s purpose is

This project which I am project managing is funded by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Growing peppers

Potting on Pelargonium and tomato plants

Gardening is a green medicine, connecting our minds, body and spirit with nature. I love spending time with the residents, using gardening for health and wellbeing, teaching them new horticulture skills from seed sowing and plant care to harvesting, watching them grow in confidence. - Ingrid

Working in the gardens at Gilead

Potting basil

ROSEMOOR TRIP On 15 Sept we headed off to RHS Rosemoor to visit these truly magical and inspirational gardens (I’m slightly biased, as I used to work there!) In the winter garden we studied the autumn colours of the Witch Hazel and Cornus turning red to yellow as we meandered along the path through evergreens and heathers. The succulents displayed in pots and water features gave us many ideas for projects. In Lady Anne’s Garden, we passed through the heady scent of the Candy Floss Tree (a tree that exudes a sweet burnt sugar smell from its leaves in autumn). The Edible Gardens were a delight – especially the Gourds archway giving us lots more ideas of what to grow in our own polytunnel and structures we could make. We’d like to thank RHS Rosemoor for the special group entrance fee for our educational visit. Sharon: “To choose the most enjoyable part would be difficult, there was such an array of horticultural delights, the design, layout and planting throughout was ‘candy to my eyes’. However, I loved the huge walnut tree, I felt like I’d fallen straight into Wonderland.” Jade: “Rosemoor is a garden full of different elements. I particularly liked the fig leaf gourd tunnel in the Edible Garden and learned a lot about how to design a garden.”

At RHS Rosemoor under the Gourds archway


My journey began in July 2013. I had been battling a life of addiction for many years. I had hit my rock bottom. This is when I entered a Christian rehabilitation program in Wales. It was definitely one of the most difficult experiences yet it was also one of the best experiences. Hope House was, as it says in the name, a place of hope. I knew Jesus was what I had always been searching for and that sense of belonging, being brought into His family. I was loved back to life and I met the one who

would change my life forever, Jesus. After finishing the programme, I became a support worker within Hope House. Since moving on from Hope House I have been brought into the family of God in Swansea Valley Bible Church; this has been such an important part in my journey. I’ve been living and working in my local community for a number of years. I’m extremely thankful for another open door and the Lord has led me to be a part of the work here in Okehampton, being a support worker in Gilead.”

DONATIONS are able to collect food from Waitrose, which is part of their waste reduction scheme. Waitrose Community Matters programme supports three different charities each month where in Jo (Gilead’s Fundraiser and Marketing Manager) pre Covid times the outside Waitrose with Vickie Mills – Team leader and Community Matters Champion for Waitrose public use their green token to choose which Charity to support. A BIG thanks to Charitable During October Gilead was chosen Trusts, Foundations, as one of the three charities Community Grants, local receiving a third each.

organisations and YOU for giving to us during these past 6 months! A heartfelt thanks to CAF whose donation in April came just at the right time as restrictions were being tightened.

Linda (support worker) outside Coop Hatherleigh

Thanks to The Lottery Community Fund for providing running costs and money to buy a much needed large Freezer! The Magic Little Grant, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, provided group fitness sessions to our residents at Gilead. Waitrose Okehampton kindly donate food to us on a regular basis. As a partner of Fareshare we

Lally (support worker) at Waitrose Okehampton

Coop Hatherleigh has recently partnered with Gilead, supporting us with regular donations. The Manager Stacey said she is pleased to be supporting Gilead with regular food donations.

Coop Okehampton have also been supporting Gilead throughout the last 12 months with their Community Fund. We shall be receiving the final payment very soon. A big thank you to our supporters who chose us while shopping at Coop. Lidl, Fareshare and local Foodbanks have also contributed to the well-being of our Residents and we are truly grateful.


Ways you can support vulnerable women in crisis. What’s new? We have an Amazon wish list: www.amzn.to/2AEMzC5

Please visit our website for all the other ways you can help or please complete and return the enclosed form. Here is the sewing machine that was purchased from our wish list!

Contact us 01837 851240 www.gilead.org.uk admin@gilead.org.uk Risdon Farm, Jacobstowe, Okehampton EX20 3AJ

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Gilead Foundations Newsletter - Autumn/Winter Issue 2020  

Gilead Foundations Newsletter - Autumn/Winter Issue 2020