Terry Waite’s agreement to become an Honorary Patron of the KM Charity Team gives the charity the perfect start to 2017.
The former special envoy of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, traveled to Lebanon in the 1980’s to try and secure the release of four hostages including journalist John McCarthy, but was himself kidnapped and held hostage for almost five years.
Just before Christmas Mr Waite met with Geraldine Allinson, Chairman of KM Group, and was briefed by Simon Dolby on the Bookbinders scheme that has been devised to support clients of Porchlight, a charity that supports the homeless, but will also be used by projects working with young people not in education or training to boost their literacy levels.
Mr Waite ended his trip to Canterbury with a visit to a Porchlight property in Whitstable Road, Canterbury where he met clients and staff at the charity to hear about their experiences of homelessness.
In a frank and emotional meeting with Porchlight clients Mr Waite said his love of literature was an important element in surviving the ordeal.
The book Terry wrote and committed to memory during his captivity – Taken on Trust – was published after his release and is still a best seller.
Mr Waite added: “Bookbinders is such a good venture because it encourages people to read, encourages people to develop their imagination, and opens up to them a whole new world. Bookbinders is such a creative, innovative and excellent venture. Congratulations to all in Bookbinders and all that you do and go ahead with this project with great enthusiasm. It is well worth supporting.”
Simon Dolby said: “Terry’s decision to become an Honorary Patron is simply the perfect start to the new year for our charity. His warmth and interest in our work was very heartening and the charity is extremely proud he has agreed to be associated with us.”
“I hope a press story will be published in January to formally announce his support, but at this stage I just wanted to share the news with members of the KM Charity Team.” Below are two videos created following his visit, including a sneak peak at one to be screened at a Porchlight training event for Bookbinders later in January.
Mr Waite is president of Emmaus UK, a charity for formerly homeless people, which has a branch in Dover.