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About Us

We have a passion to see every Christian having an intentional involvement with those living on the margins of society because as we look at the gospels that is what we see Jesus doing.

We exist for members of churches in Basingstoke to connect with those in need and see transformation in those who give and receive.  There are people all around the town of Basingstoke who want to give.  They may be refurbishing a room and have good quality furniture to donate.  

Many offer to buy a cooker, fridge or washing machine for someone who is moving to an empty new home. Others give money or offer to do an act of kindness to help someone who struggles to cope.  For the past 15 years, Besom – manned by people from churches around the town – has matched the gift with a recipient in need. 


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 The Besom in Basingstoke started operations in 2005. Basingstoke is the largest town in Hampshire, and is regarded as a prosperous place, with many residents enjoying a good standard of living.  But, as with any town or city in the UK, that is not the whole picture.  There are many people living here who struggle day by day to meet their most basic needs.  There are people in Basingstoke who can’t afford to furnish their homes adequately, who can’t manage to decorate their homes or get their gardens in order.  Some face a crisis which leaves them short of food and other essentials. 


The Besom aims to make a bridge between these people and God’s church in Basingstoke. There are all kinds of ways in which members and groups from Basingstoke churches can get involved and make a genuine, lasting difference to people’s lives.  We never ask. We don't fund-raise or ask for specific items. When there is a need, we pray for God's provision.

"I tell you the truth. Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:40

How Besom started

The Besom was founded by James Odgers in 1987. Early in that year, James left the practice of law in London to go to Hong Kong where he served in a Christian ministry involved with heroin addicts. What particularly affected him there were not so much the absolute levels of human degradation and poverty that he encountered, but the ever-widening gap that exists between those of us who have and can give and those who are in need.


On the plane leaving Hong Kong in September 1987, James wrote the original mission statement for Besom - that it should provide a bridge between those who want to give money, time, skills or things, and those who are in need.

Why are we called "The Besom"?

The name 'Besom' derives from a broom made of twigs - hence Besom's strapline of 'sweep away suffering'.

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