Bethphage was created in 1994 when Donna Werner, a senior manager of Bethphage in the US (now called Mosaic there) came to the UK and spoke with commissioners in Shropshire about the potential for providing UK services. Donna established the UK organisation which was initially managed from the States but soon became a free standing UK organisation supported by its American parent.
Bethphage in the US was established in 1913 in Axtell Nebraska, by a young Swedish pastor, named K.G. William Dahl. There he pursued his vision of creating homes for people with epilepsy and other disabilities who were previously kept in prison-like settings called county poor farms. Fifty four members of the Axtell community donated at least $1 each to help Dahl build his mission.
Inspired by his work, which was then at the forefront of bringing about social change, our now independent organisation has its own vision of inclusive communities where all people have the opportunity to live the life they choose. This vision is upheld in everything we do – as a charity, as a support provider, as an employer and as a Positive Behaviour Organisation.
In order to bring about social change, our mission is to be an excellent provider of services for people with disabilities. Excellence in this context is all embracing. It includes both the services we provide and our approaches as an employer; believing that the two are intrinsically linked. Our passion is to do our best and lead by example!
In the UK, Bethphage is a registered charity (number 1046225) and a company limited by guarantee (number 2971171). Our first services were three small residential care homes (five person) in Whitchurch, Shrewsbury and Telford. Since then, we have grown to work across five local authority areas and now employ around 350 staff to support 200 people (April 2019).
As a charity we have a volunteer board of trustees who bring their own individual areas of expertise to benefit the organisation.
Bethphage has two corporate members, these being Mosaic (created by the merger of Bethphage in the US with Martin Luther Homes), www.mosaicinfo.org with which we still enjoy a close mutually beneficial relationship and The Council of Lutheran Churches, www.lutheran.org.uk which provides a link to the Lutheran roots of our organisation.
In this video celebrating the centenary of Bethphage’s creation, CEO of Mosaic, Linda Timmons outlines the history of her organisation and its current operations.