THE co-founder of an addiction charity has been awarded British Empire Medal (BEM) as part of the Queen’s birthday honours.
Brian Jones, 68, from Stockton is the CEO of The Moses Project.
Mr Jones provides guidance, mentoring and support to hundreds of adults who have become disengaged from society often as they find themselves gripped by addiction.
On receiving the award, Mr Jones, said: “I was shocked, I was absolutely stunned when I got the letter.
“It’s a great honour really, I want to thank the volunteers, we have an amazing team.”
Mr Jones is currently getting showers fitted for the homeless so that they can feel clean, which in turn is hoped will raise their aspirations and self worth.
The Moses Project has over 1,000 people on their books.
Mr Jones has supported countless people in Christian Rehab centres to turn their lives around.
He is the lead support worker and extremely hands on whether it be taking clients out to an event – bowling, walking, a day at the seaside or being their advocate at housing meetings, doctors appointments and court attendance.
Every Christmas Day he and the Moses Project serve over 200 people a Christmas Lunch.
Even when food was extremely difficult to come during the early-days of the pandemic Mr Jones visited every supermarket in the area to get what was needed.
He was often still out delivering at 10pm at night, carrying food parcels up flights of stairs to those most frail, a listening ear to a resident who was struggling with the dramatic change to his financial situation and a lady who had battled coronavirus in hospital for four weeks was supported by the Moses project to enable her to return home to her family.
When the Moses Project realised that local hostels had stopped feeding tenants they stepped in providing over 100 meals each day.
They provided food parcels safely to their clients who were extremely vulnerable to turning to drink and drugs during this pandemic.
They provided support to clients who were suffering through bad mental health being available to talk and referring to other professionals and they helped Tees Valley Probation support clients across Stockton to remain at home.
The Moses Project also worked with the Homeless Prevention team from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to get people safe and secure accommodation through Covid.
Mr Jones said: “We’ve been doing this work for 20 years, we started back in 1998 helping out in a coffee bus. We started by walking the streets but realised we needed to do more.”
The Moses Project was set up by Mr Jones and his wife Stella, it is based in Foundation House, Alm Street, in Stockton.