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Rydal Hall assists ex-forces to tackle addiction

Military veterans, reservists and emergency personnel are being helped in their recovery from addiction through voluntary working breaks at the Diocese of Carlisle’s Christian conference and retreat centre.

Building compost bins under the supervision of Peter Stevens of the National Trust (pictured on the right) - Courtesy K Jackson/Rydal HallStaff at Rydal Hall are working with groups from Tom Harrison House, a specialist facility based in Liverpool which provides addiction treatment exclusively to people with backgrounds in the military and the emergency services and their families.

After a successful trial last year, four groups of 15 to 20 people will visit Rydal Hall during 2017 to work on projects that benefit the environment and community as part of their treatment programme.

One group has just completed a week-long break at the Hall, when they helped renovate the Hall’s vegetable garden.

Kate Jackson, Head Gardener at Rydal Hall, said: “The Tom Harrison House people are amazing. They are incredibly motivated and their work has enabled us to take on projects that would not get done without them.”

PJ, Recovery Lead for the group, said: “It’s great being here in such a beautiful place. It gives us a break and lets us get to know each other. These weeks really help with our recovery, we all enjoy it and we’re all going to leave on a high, a natural high.”

The registered charity runs 12-week long primary programmes which include a wide range of recovery-focused activities and therapeutic groups, as well as individual sessions and family work.

Last year, Tom Harrison House became part of ‘The National Veterans Community Recovery Project’ alongside Mersey Care NHS Trust and the Royal British Legion to jointly provide a wrap-around detoxification, rehabilitation and re-integration service to veterans from across the UK, after Mersey Care were awarded a two year Armed Forces Covenant grant.

The volunteers are greatly appreciated by Rydal Hall and the partnership is continuing with four groups a year heading to the Lake District centre.

Andy Carling, who works on the Rydal estate, said: “The impression you get of the volunteers is what lovely people they are and how those who are tackling addiction come out of the process as nice, thoughtful and better people.

“If anyone out there knows an ex-forces member who is having problems with drink or drugs, give Tom Harrison House a call. They are working miracles and we’re proud to be helping them.”


Notes to editors
Tom Harrison House is a specialist treatment centre, based in Liverpool. Their website is and contacts on: 0151 909 8481 or email at


For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at


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