Spitalfields Crypt Trust: 50 Years in East London

As we close the lid on one chapter and head optimistically into 2016, we take a moment to reflect on 50 inspirational years that the SCT has been reinvigorating the hopes of those down on their luck throughout East London.

Indeed, the Spitalfields Crypt Trust has come a long way from itʼs humble beginnings in 1966, when one of the first residential rehabs for alcoholic men in the UK was set up at the Christ Church in East London.

Within this period the humanitarian trust has no doubt seen countless individuals walk through itʼs doors that have since been reunited with family and friends, are now employed or have their own business. In fact, the penultimate ideology and goal according to itʼs organisers is to assess each individual condition with a long term scope.

Says CEO Graham Marshall:

ʻWe are in it for the long haul… recovery takes time involving healing, change and maturity in the inner personʼ.

And over the decades the SCT has evolved through the necessity to facilitate those confronted with the adversities that may impede their path to a positive future. These services include residential recovery, supported housing, personal development and training, work experience, drop-in services and the ongoing assistance to prevent relapse.

It seems a primary objective of the SCT to continue their support for individuals to reclaim their lives and become valuable citizens of the wider community. Moreover, in the coming months they plan to raise an additional £50,000 to not only keep people in recovery- in home and in work, but they hope to raise the necessary funds for the further ʻprogressionʼ work of helping those into jobs, training or education.

Arguably so, the more recent months coinciding with their 50 year milestone has seen some of the SCTʼs biggest charitable achievements take place across East London.

Such events as ʻThe Bardʼs Yard Garden Partyʼ, the SCT Choir ʻflashmobʼ at Spitalfields Market, a fundraising walk through 7 of their East London charity shops headed by Barbara Windsor, an SCT sponsored sleep-in at the Crypt, a Thanksgiving service and a special drop-in for the homeless has galvanised the local community and lent a helping hand to those trying to find their feet again.

Moving forward, Spitalfields Crypt Trust is anticipating this coming Autumn for the last event on the calendar of their anniversary year. March 2016 will see the SCT Photography Exhibition take place; capturing a collection of images and peopleʼs stories in their recovery community in Shoreditch. All alongside pictures of local personalities and celebrities whose lives have been touched by addiction.

Itʼs no secret that much of the SCTʼs success and longevity can be attributed to the fact that it has grown and evolved to the needs and wants of an ever-changing city. Their residential institutions, charity shops, numerous events and services have provided the bricks to a complete pathway to rehabilitation and recovery in East London. Who knows where the next 50 years will take them… and how many lives they will touch.

(Article published for The Spitalfields Crypt Trust 50 Years Anniversary, 19/12/2015)

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