New book on House in the Wells

The Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured on Wednesday afternoon at the House in the Wells Annual Barbecue, with staff members, residents and invited dignitaries. DER2115MC033
The Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured on Wednesday afternoon at the House in the Wells Annual Barbecue, with staff members, residents and invited dignitaries. DER2115MC033

A Derry house that provides refuge for men dealing with chronic alcohol addiction has appealed for former residents to help compile a new book about the facility.

The House in the Wells based in Derry’s Bogside is celebrating 44 years of supporting men in the city.

COFFEE AND CHAT. . . Councillor Patricia Logue and Fr. Gallagher pictured at the House in the Wells barbeque on Wednesday afternoon. DER2115MC030

COFFEE AND CHAT. . . Councillor Patricia Logue and Fr. Gallagher pictured at the House in the Wells barbeque on Wednesday afternoon. DER2115MC030

And now they want to document the four decades of the house with a new book being written in conjunction with Eden Arts in Pilot’s Row and Jim Collins.

On Wednesday former staff members, volunteers and residents braved the rain and came together for a barbecue where stories and memories were shared. Visitors also had a chance to look at the many pictures taken of the house since the 1970s.

Senior supporter worker at the House in the Wells Paddy Downey said the book had been four years in the planning but they were only getting round to it now.

“Things got put on hold when the hostel changed from a dry hostel to a wet one.”

The Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured with Rosie Doherty at the House in the Wells barbecue on Wednesday last. DER2115MC035

The Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured with Rosie Doherty at the House in the Wells barbecue on Wednesday last. DER2115MC035

Paddy revealed that with 24 places the House in the Wells they constantly operate at full capacity with a waiting list.

He revealed that some residents have now moved out of the house and into their own accommodation.

“Some still have their addiction,” he said, “but they have been able to move into the community and manage it themselves.”

The House in the Wells is now a wet hostel - a harm reduction hostel.

The Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured with Libby Leonard, Dolores Logue and Councillor Patricia Logue, at the House in the Wells barbecue on Wednesday last. DER2115MC036

The Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured with Libby Leonard, Dolores Logue and Councillor Patricia Logue, at the House in the Wells barbecue on Wednesday last. DER2115MC036

It is run by Apex and had 14 bedrooms with five chalets that have two bedrooms each with a bathroom and kitchen. All meals for the residents are catered for and staff are on site 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Paddy revealed that the decision to allow alcohol in the house has made a major difference.

“With the bad winter that we have just been through many of them wouldn’t have survived,” he said.

The House in the Wells operates a controlled drinking policy where the alcohol is kept in lockers and given out as agreed.

The Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion and Councillor Patricia Logue pictured with Jim Smith at the House in the Wells barbecue on Wednesday last. DER2115MC034

The Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion and Councillor Patricia Logue pictured with Jim Smith at the House in the Wells barbecue on Wednesday last. DER2115MC034

Paddy said he would encourage anyone who couldn’t make Wednesday’s barbecue to contact with any stories or pictures that can be used in the book. Contact 71267957,

CHEFS AT THE READY. . . .Pictured at the House in the Wells barbecue on Wednesday are, from left Rosie Doherty, Robert Cooke, Mandy Polland and Sadie Callan. DER2115MC032

CHEFS AT THE READY. . . .Pictured at the House in the Wells barbecue on Wednesday are, from left Rosie Doherty, Robert Cooke, Mandy Polland and Sadie Callan. DER2115MC032

Caoimhe Lynch, Tina Lynch and Liam Crawford pictured at Wednesday's barbeque. DER2115MC031

Caoimhe Lynch, Tina Lynch and Liam Crawford pictured at Wednesday's barbeque. DER2115MC031