Father Jim McCartney, the founder of THOMAS spoke at the celebration event in Blackburn Town Hall. He said “this is a great day to remember how THOMAS was born. We built from the bottom up and learnt from our mistakes as well as successes.”

He went on to speak about the importance of the therapeutic culture and group dynamic concept within the domain of social psychology and social learning theory. He said the greatest asset THOMAS has is the therapeutic residential culture that ignites change.

He went on to say, “the birth of THOMAS was edges magazine, a publication giving a voice to excluded people, more  importantly telling  their stories. We all have a story to tell.  In the early days we were printing 60,000 a year. Over a million copies of edges have been printed.”

In addition to its rehabilitation  work, THOMAS has a drop-in-centre that feeds around 50 people a day.  Father Jim said “last year we prepared around 10,800 meals and I feel 25 years on the problem has got worse.”