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 was 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 The Besom – that it should provide a bridge between those who want to give money, time, skills or things, and those who are in need. It ensures that what is given is used effectively. The Besom began in the spare bedroom of James’ basement flat in Shepherds Bush in London. The Besom HQ now operates, some 20 years later, from a large warehouse and offices near Clapham Junction. There are over 30 other Besoms now operating around the country and abroad and all follow the same principles and vision.
The Besom in Esher
In 2010 a small number of people began praying about starting a new Besom to serve the local area around Esher. Several Besoms existed in Surrey but there was no Besom based in Elmbridge. After over a year of faithful prayer the initiative got off the ground and The Besom in Esher was formed. We now have a core team of volunteers from three Churches (Esher Green Baptist Church, Holy Trinity Claygate and St Mary’s East Molesey) who operate a local Besom serving the Elmbridge Borough. The initiative is also supported by people from churches of all denominations based throughout the local area. The Besom is an organisation independent from but supported by the local churches.
What area do we serve?
At The Besom in Esher we cover all of Elmbridge Borough and Chessington. We accept referrals for recipients based in these locations, will collect donated items from within this area and love to work with any Churches based within this area to help local Christians Give to the local community. A list of postcodes below explains further the areas we cover. If you would like to Give through the Besom, or have a client that you would like to refer to us but are not within our area then you can find details of other Besoms here that may serve your area. You can always contact us if you are unsure.
KT6 – in part, Long Ditton only
KT7 – all, Thames Ditton & Weston Green
KT8 – all, West & East Molesey
KT9 – all, Chessington, Hook & Malden Rushett
KT10 – all, Esher & Claygate
KT11 – in part, Cobham & Stoke D’Abernon only
KT12 – all, Walton & Hersham
KT13 – in part, Weybridge only
Why ‘The Besom’?
The word ‘Besom’ derives from a broom made of twigs – hence The Besom’s strapline of ‘sweep away suffering’. James Odgers was nicknamed Besom by his sisters when he was a boy as he was often to be found sweeping up the leaves in the yard of their family home outside London. While researching whether to use the name for establishing the Besom Foundation, James went to the Shorter Oxford Dictionary to find an example of its earliest use. This turned out to be ‘sweep thy soul clene with the besom of the drede of God’. He has since then discovered that, albeit spelt ‘byssome’, the word was to be found in an early edition of St. Matthew’s Gospel from 1000AD.