The Project’s name is The Besom. Yes, the broom made of twigs that you use in the garden to sweep away leaves or dirt. Only in this case, rather than leaves, "The Besom" is a Foundation that aims to wipe away pain and suffering. You can read on their Website:Poverty, isolation, abuse, ill health, injustice, homelessness: we all see the sharp inequalities of life around us and the devastating impacts they have on people’s lives. Many of us want to do something, to get involved but we don't always know how. The Besom exists to help you make a difference to the lives of others and to make it easy for you to do so.
The Besom was founded in 1987 by James Odgers, a young Londoner who, after a Hong Kong-based experience with heroin-addicted people, became aware of the great gap between those who "have" and could potentially "give" and those who are in need. During the return flight from that world, James pinned down the project of The Besom: the Foundation provides a bridge between those who want to give time, money, things, or skills and those who are in need.
The Besom adventure began in the spare bedroom of James' basement flat in London and now, there are over 30 different Besoms scattered around the UK and many volunteers.
Clive Phillips is one of them, a retired man who worked for the UK Defense Ministry until 2009. He lives in Horsham, West Sussex, in the South of England. Here, he collaborates with The Besom. He explains: "The aim behind all Besoms is that everyone - whether you are three years old or over 80, whether working full-time or part-time, a student, a mum with toddlers, in-between jobs or retired - can get involved. By giving your time, money, things, or skills you can help those who are in real need and make a long term positive difference to their lives. The Besom where I help (like other Besom groups) is a church-based group".
Clive is an inexhaustible source of stories of "reborn" lives. Such as, for example, Laura's story. "Some months ago we brought a double bed, a table and two chairs, a couch, a TV set, and a rocking horse to Laura, the mother of a two-year-old girl who, because of a serious disease, was frequently hospitalized. Laura was so happy and grateful, because she could finally sleep in a comfortable bed and no longer have to dine on the kitchen counter, or sitting on the bed."
Another example is the story of Yussuf, a Muslim man from Guildford, who had received an apartment: "The apartment was almost empty. He slept on a rug on the concrete floor, and there were no curtains, nor a cooker to prepare his meals. Within two weeks, we brought him a double bed, a couch, a microwave oven, tableware, a kitchen bin, a chair, a closet, a DVD player, and a full-board box. Actually, it took a while, because we could not find a way to carry the closet on the two ramps of stairs ... But eventually we made it and Yussuf was really happy!"
In short, indeed the Besom sweeps away poverty!