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Rydal Hall project helps recovery

24 February 2017


Team project: veterans work on the vegetable garden at Rydal Hall

Team project: veterans work on the vegetable garden at Rydal Hall

A DIOCESAN retreat house is to become home to military veterans and emergency personnel, as part of a project to help in their recovery from addictions.

Rydal Hall, the diocese of Car­lisle’s retreat house and conference centre, is hosting groups of veterans from Tom Harrison House, a Liverpool-based centre that provides addiction treatment exclusively for people with backgrounds in the military and the emergency services.

The groups will stay a week at a time, and work on projects such as renovating the vegetable garden on the estate.

One member of a group that re­­cently finished a week’s volunteering at Rydal Hall 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 head gardener at Rydal Hall, Kate Jackson, 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.”

In the United States, a study found that 60 per cent of 140,000 military veterans had a substance-abuse problem, but statistics are lacking in the UK.

The military charity Combat Stress says that, of those who con­tact them for help, 75 per cent are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, two-thirds of whom have a past history of alcohol abuse. Of the other 25 per cent who contact them, many also have alcohol-abuse dis­orders.

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