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Deirdre Boyd

October 17, 2013

Ripper victim will show how "you can"

Inspirational writer and speaker Richard McCann is lending his support to a Yalding charity as they launch a new campaign on 19 November titled You can with Kenward.

In 1975, one week before his sixth birthday, Richard’s mother became the first victim of the Yorkshire Ripper. As a result, his life went into a downward spiral and it wasn’t until many years later he was able to use his experience to create positive change.

Kenward logoNext month, Richard will be sharing his life story with the people of Kent in the hope they will be inspired to become ‘Friends of Kenward’ to bring about change in the lives of others.

The Kenward Trust opened 45 years ago in Yalding to provide treatment programmes for men and women addicted to drink and drugs. In addition to its Yalding base the charity now has projects in Hawkhurst, Uckfield, Maidstone, Southborough, Gravesend and Margate, where it continues to help: people in recovery from addiction, ex-offenders resettling in the community, homeless people, as well as providing ‘alcohol  and drugs’ education to children and young people.

Richard will be explaining his own ‘ICan’ attitude when he addresses guests at Kenward’s AGM event ‘You Can With Kenward’, where the ‘Friends of Kenward’ scheme will be launched on Tuesday November 19 at The River Centre, Tonbridge.  Admission to the event is free and, following the AGM at 5pm, there will be refreshments and networking opportunities, prior to the main presentation which starts at 6.30pm.

Joining Richard on the platform will be patrons Lord Clive Brooke of Alverthorpe and the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev James Langstaff, as well as Roger Bedford, Chair of trustees, and the charity’s Chief Executive Angela Painter. Angela said: “The invitation to attend the ‘You can with Kenward’ event is extended to all members of the community. This is a chance for people to get involved with the ground breaking  work of a charity that literally transforms lives and to meet the very many committed and passionate people who make it all happen.

“We offer help, hope and support to hundreds of people each year. This is an opportunity for individuals, volunteers, businesses and corporate sponsors to look at how they too can ‘make a difference.’

“Everyone has something to offer – whether it be expertise, services or donations – in time or money. We need fundraisers and people prepared to organise fundraising events, and are also seeking businesses who would like to get involved as part of their commitment to corporate social responsibility; perhaps offering apprenticeships or work experience. We also welcome the donation of resources (such as paint, furniture and clothes), the sharing of experience (skills, advice and networks) – or simply, prayer.”

Richard McCann was brought up on the ‘At Risk’ register and spent time in foster homes and children's home, after a violent upbringing by his estranged father, following his mother’s murder. When his life hit rock bottom, he contemplated suicide but, instead, opted to turn his life around. Now married with a family of his own, he has had two books published about his life and he is in great demand worldwide as an inspirational  speaker.

Anyone who wishes to attend the You can with Kenward event on 19 November should email friends@kenwardtrust.org.uk by November 10 or call 01622-814187.

Robin Snook, The Kenward Trust,  Tel: (01622) 814187  www.kenwardtrust.org.uk

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