Ipswich: Former hostage Terry Waite delivers anniversary lecture for Orwell Housing Association

Terry Waite with Tom Griffin, chairman of Orwell Housing Association, left, and Stephen Javes, the a

Terry Waite with Tom Griffin, chairman of Orwell Housing Association, left, and Stephen Javes, the association's chief executive, right, at the Orwell Lecture event at Wherstead Park. - Credit: Archant

Former Middle East hostage Terry Waite has delivered a special lecture to mark the 50th anniversary of social housing provider Orwell Housing.

The humanitarian campaginer, who was abducted in Lebanon in 1987 and held for 1,763 days, works with a number homelessness charities.

The special “Orwell Lecture” event was held by Orwell Housing Association at Wherstead Park, near Ipswich, and was attended by more than 100 guests.

Mr Waite travelled to Lebanon in 1987 as the special envoy of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, hoping to secure the release of the British journalist John McCarthy and other Western captives. He was however accused of being an agent acting for the CIA and was himself kidnapped.

Stephen Javes, chief executive of Orwell Housing Association, said: “I was absolutely delighted that Terry Waite could join us at our special 50th anniversary event. He is a true inspiration.

“Although he is best known for his humanitarian work, he also works for several charities, with the issue of homelessness very close to his heart. Just recently I took part with my executive team in The Hope Challenge 2013 to raise money for a charity called Habitat for Humanity, of which he is a patron.

“They are an international charity that aims to break the cycle of poverty by eliminating poverty of housing and homelessness. They believe that everyone, regardless of race, gender or belief, has a right to a safe, decent place to live. Poor housing is the mark of poverty, and it keeps people poor, dependent and vulnerable for generation after generation. We believe at Orwell that everyone has a right to have a decent place to live.”

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Mr Javes added: “We asked Terry to lecture, not only because of his close alignment to homelessness issues but also because he gives audiences a perspective of world affairs founded on open communication, negotiation, cooperation and a deep understanding of diverse cultures. I am sure Terry’s lecture that evening gave inspiration to many, including my own staff.”