The Annual London Quiz 2023, hosted by comedian Jimmy Mulville, welcomed over 130 guest to a fun-filled evening at The Tabernacle, London.
This special event is hosted by Forward to spend time with our supporter community in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere whilst being able to raise funds towards our projects that help people to break the cycles of addiction or crime and move forward with their lives
For over 30 years, the charity has been fulfilling it’s longstanding mission to successfully help people break the vicious cycles of addiction and crime so that they can lead positive and fulfilling lives.
During the evening, guests enjoyed a relaxed two-course meal and heard many inspiring stories of recovery and transformation, followed by a thoroughly enjoyably silent auction.
There were many excellent, unique and memorable prizes kindly gifted to the raffle, including signed Downton Abbey books (by Julian Fellowes, creator, writer and executive producer of Downton Abbey), a free reflexology session and a White Company advent calendar.
One of the highlights of the evening was a testimonial by Leon Rowe, a Forward alumni, with an incredible story to tell.
In Leon’s words, ‘I used to work for Brent council and Westminster council – I was a youth worker, I used to run after school clubs. Then my best friend passed away; he was a drug dealer, they found traces of drugs in his system. He died in my block of flats; I was in disbelief. I gave up my work and started using – I didn’t know it would take control of me. I ended up carrying out crime and I was in and out of prisons. My son’s mother, my family – no one believed me because of the job I had done so it was only in 2020 that I asked for help, all those years I was pretending I was alright.
‘After around 18 years I decided I wanted to make a change. Whilst in prison I got in touch with The Forward Trust where I did some cell packs on relapse prevention and awareness with Naz. I got my certificates for these. I knew if I was homeless after prison, I would end up back on drugs.
‘So after I got support from Forward in prison, I asked if they could help me because I didn’t have a home to go to. They offered me to get involved in the Nehemiah Project – I’ve been here since 14th April 2021. I’m still here – thank you to Forward Trust. Through Forward I was put in touch with Josh (the Forward Connect Coordinator). With Josh I’ve completed some training and e-learning – and now a volunteer.
‘As a volunteer I support Forward reunions, I facilitate Forward Connect meetings and share my story. The team have been really supportive, it’s like a family – Delroy (Forward Connect Practitioner) has helped me to prepare for a job interview for a role at The Forward Trust.
‘The Forward Trust have done a lot for me, I’m so happy to be a part of it because I have a lot to give and a lot to share. Forward have helped me change, and a lot of people look up to me. I can now show that change is possible, which is why I like to visit the prisons, so they can visibly see how change is possible.’
Today The Forward Trust supports the recovery and rehabilitation of individuals through a broad range of services, both in prison and in the community, including employment support, housing provision and interventions to support affected families, including children and young people living with parental addiction.
All of this work is only possible thanks to fundraising, and the Annual London Quiz 2023 enables our generous supporters to help us in our mission to achieve our annual fundraising target of £3 million.
On behalf of everyone at The Forward Trust, and all the individuals we will be working with, we would like to thank you for your generosity – undoubtedly helping us to change lives.
Shera Bledisloe, Marianne Hinton, Isabelle Laurent, Annabel Portsmouth and Cosima Somerset represent Forward’s London Quiz Committee.
This blog was originally published by The Forward Trust. You can read the original post here.
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