Nicky Morgan, our MP, has long been a staunch supporter of The Carpenter’s Arms and helped arrange his visit for which we are very grateful.
Andrew Lansley spent some time speaking to the staff and asked how our centre addressed Drug and Alcohol addictions. He then listened to our views and our questions on related matters. We mentioned that we wanted an extension to the property which would enable us to address the needs of more people in the area and help the street homeless.
Secretary of State for Health then accompanied us to Joseph’s Storehouse where he helped distribute food parcels and met the volunteers who have worked so hard over the years to see those who need that extra food, get it. The comments from them afterwards showed that they really appreciated the time that he gave.
After this he returned to The Carpenter’s Arms main building and spent time with our residents asking them what they thought of the way the NHS dealt with addiction issues and listened to their views. On several points he asked them for suggestions as to how they thought addicts could be better helped.
We told everyone how to address him, “Secretary of State” and so when he sat on the sofa surrounded by our residents one of them addressed him as such. He turned to this resident and said, “call me Andrew” . The resident said “fine, call me Bill”. Later on when Secretary of State left he said “Good-bye Bill, see you sometime” Bill replied “See you Andrew”
He told the press that: “I am highly impressed by the facilities on offer at the Carpenters Arms and the amount of support and hard work put in to help those who live there. The food parcels are a fantastic boost to the local community. They help very many people and I have been grateful for the opportunity to help with this project today.”