Market trader pledges to shave beard for new St Albans recovery home

Keith Adsley of Eat Wholefoods is shaving off his beard for Hope House.

Keith Adsley of Eat Wholefoods is shaving off his beard for Hope House. - Credit: Eat Wholefoods

A popular figure on St Albans Charter Market for over 44 years has pledged to shave off his beard to support a new recovery home set up in the city.

The bid by Keith Adsley of Eat Wholefoods is one of many fundraising events being led by local residents and businesses on behalf of Hope House - Supported living, which opened at the start of the month.

“I will not do it for less than £1,000,” said Keith, who regularly donates to St Albans foodbank and helps feed local homeless. “This beard is a natural heritage site equal to St Albans Abbey!” 

Lynn Dutton and Sharon Linney from St Albans Action for Homeless set up Hope House to assist an addiction-free life and provide access to appropriate services for its residents.

Lynn said: “We worked for three years fundraising to open this recovery home, and Sharon and I work 40 hours a week unpaid to keep this non-profit project open.

"We’re a clean house, our residents are drug-tested on entry and continuously tested whilst residing here with us. Our focus is to become a charity that helps the community.

"Due to Covid we’ve had delays, but our target is to secure this aim by Christmas 2021. Prior to this we need to raise £6,500 and Keith’s pledge is a great way to seeing us achieve our goal!"

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Sharon added: “We are on site seven days a week to support our three current lodgers. We expect them to stay with us between one and two years, or until they’re ready, and then we make sure they move on to their own homes with the relevant support needed.”

One resident said: “Since Lynn and Sharon stepped in and helped me this is the longest I've been clean. They have provided me with a home and I’m feeling really good and I feel very positive about the future.”

Local community services help with the daily running of Hope House by supplying necessary provisions.

Wash bags come from The Hygiene Bank Harpenden and fresh food is supplied by St Albans Vineyard Church,  St Albans and District Foodbank and Sopwell Community Trust.

Special ‘end of day’ treats are welcomed on a Sunday from Loafing in Wheathampstead.

The house was fully furnished through donations and the St Albans and Harpenden Reuse Project.

“We are so grateful to this wonderful community for providing us with ongoing support and can’t thank them all enough,” said Lynn. "Special thanks to Karen Cowen, Julie Ralph and all our volunteers."

Donations have come from a wide array of local businesses and individual fundraisers, including Victoria Young who raised £530 by completing a triathlon, £187 from the Adopt a Teddy market stall, and The Great Northern Pub is holding a Hope House charity quiz with questions all about St Albans.

Catherine Crompton, founder of WoofWoofWalk, has set up a raffle and offered a week’s stay at a two bedroom holiday home in Villa Mora from May 28-June 4 2022. Tickets cost £10 and the winner will be drawn on Christmas Eve. Pop over to the St Albans Action for Homeless Facebook page to get involved.

To support Keith Adsley's charity beard shave, pledge your money to his JustGiving site:

If you would like to get involved by holding your own fundraising event, then email Lynn Dutton at: or contact her via the Hope House – Supported Living Facebook page.