Drug charity backed by Kim Wilde to be made homeless

PUBLISHED: 17:07 21 October 2012

Isobel Barnes, project leader at the charity during better times

Isobel Barnes, project leader at the charity during better times


A CHARITY that has helped hundreds of addicts, ex-criminals and vulnerable people through gardening is being made homeless.

This week 80s pop star Kim Wilde, a patron of the Waste Not Want Not project, voiced her frustration that the scheme faces an uphill struggle.

After four-and-a-half years in Slip Lane, Rabley Heath, which has seen its former wasteland base turned into a thriving nursery, the project has to move on.

It has been leasing its site for a nominal fee, but it is now expected that plans to build housing on the land will be put forward.

Isobel Barnes, project leader, said: “It is big shock and it is really sad as the day before they gave us notice, we did an event at Stevenage Jobcentre and there were 20 young people who wanted work experience here.”

The 71-year-old said: “They [the volunteers] are very upset about it.

“There is one woman who was abused as a child, had a cot death, started drinking and hasn’t stopped for 25 years. She started coming to us to get peace in life.

“I don’t think it will be curtains, but we will struggle to keep it going.”

Volunteers from across the county have been working at the site helping many people on the road to recovery.

While at the nursery they grew plants, reared chickens and cultivated fruit and veg.

Mrs Barnes has launched a search for a new four acre site to continue the project - which has won several awards and been backed by 80s pop star Kim Wilde, who became its patron earlier this year.

The Kids in America star and keen gardener told the WHT: “It is very frustrating.

“It is a project that has given much to the community and people who need that help and support.

“I really hope that someone will step forward to help them carry on doing this good work.”

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