Where we come from matters because it has not only shaped who we have become but it also informs who we will grow to be. First things first, let’s start with our name: Besom is pronounced Bee-zm. The word is defined as a bundle of Broom tree twigs tied around a handle, and is used for sweeping away or cleansing. The name ‘Besom’ is found in one of the earliest Gospel editions, dating back to 1000 AD. It is also recorded by William Cowper in the 18th century in the sentence ‘Sweep thy soul clean with the besom...’ (Luke 11:25).
The Besom was founded in 1987 by James Odgers. James left the law in London for Hong Kong to be part of St Stephen's Society caring for people coming out of heroin addiction. During his time there, the chasm between those who had and those in need profoundly struck home. It was from his experience and insight, that The Besom Vision was formed: 'To be a bridge between those who want to give money, time, skills, or things; and those in need.' Since that return flight from Hong Kong in 1986 a lot has happened. We have journeyed with over 40 local Besoms and have seen the work develop in many ways.