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To celebrate Sir Ranulph Fiennes as the ‘Worlds Greatest Living Explorer’ (Guinness Book of Records). Mr Henry Shelton, celebrated London based artist,was commissioned to undertake a sketch portrait. Sir Ranulph has kindly donated the portrait to HOPE Community Services.
Alan Sutton, one of HOPE’s Trustee’s said, ‘as the Treasurer at HOPE I was delighted to be invited to the National Geological Society to accept this portrait. The presentation was made in the world famous Map Room. We will be hanging the portrait in our head quarters, it will act as a motivator when times are tough.’
Alan Diggles, HOPE’s CEO added, ‘we are honoured to have the patronage of such a distinguished personality. Sir Ranulph’s sense of adventure and risk is one that everyone here can relate to.’
‘When I take on a new challenge, I always want to make a difference to those in need. HOPE shares that same vision, by supporting the homeless and underprivileged within the local community, and through strengthening the capacity of local people to make a decision about the place they live and work. HOPE aims to build on their past success, and with my support, I am sure they will go from strength to strength. I endorse the work of this excellent charity and would encourage everybody within the local community to do so also.’
HOPE’S vision is for a fair, responsible and inclusive society which he encourages, enables and empowers the individual to maximise their potential.
HOPE’s mission is to promote social inclusion, tackle disadvantage,homelessness and the causes of homelessness, and ensure there are pathways for positive lifestyle choices, for those who are outside of mainstream services.
HOPE commits itself to promoting our values within its service and in areas where we have influence.
We are committed to:
HOPE is a small charity that has been in existence since 1996, as a very local response to those on the street – a soup kitchen, providing hot meals for anyone who walked in. We have moved on significantly and now have over 50 staff and volunteers. Each year we work with many hundreds of homeless people. During 2012, the organisation changed its name from ‘HOPE for the Homeless’ to ‘HOPE Community Services’. All the assets of the old were transferred to the new the change was formally approved by the Charities Commission.
Nationally, homelessness has increased for three years consecutively, with an estimated 185,000 people a year now affected (The Guardian 14 December 2013). Research by Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Crisis found that 1 in 10 people experience homelessness at some point in their life. It warned that recent reforms including; cuts in housing benefit, the so called bedroom tax,and the chronic lack of affordable housing, are already having an impact, most notably in the Midlands and the north.
More homeless people are presenting themselves, so far this year HOPE has seen an 11% increase in residents. Although official feedback on the National Rough Sleeper Survey has yet to be published (undertaken in Nottinghamshire on Friday 1st November 2013), in Bassetlaw there are around twice as many as previously estimated. On that night, as well as 32 people staying with Hope,there are approximately 30 others out on the streets. As the weather gets colder many of those will be seeking to access Hope’s services, we operate the County’s only directly accessible hostel – where someone can knock at our door seeking a bed.
Not only is demand increasing, we are also supporting those within the service for longer. Personal barriers are more acute, the economic climate is much worse for those at the margins of society, than the general population.
Many of our clients are familiar with the criminal justice system, and our aim is to take people down a different path and prevent re-offending, and we work extensively with partners (such as the Police and Probation Service) to provide alternative activity and support for those with multiple needs.
The charity has operated a social enterprise operation for many years. We have clothes shops and Furniture Warehouses in Worksop and Retford. Originally designed to provide low-cost items to those in greatest need, that still remains with over 200 people being gifted furniture to furnish a new home and 250 people receiving emergency changes of clothes, in the last 12 months.
However, retail has now become one of the most important under pinning financial aspects of the operation, bringing resources that are fundamental to how we work. Without the support of our shops, HOPE would be unable to support homeless people in the range of services that we provide. This has been exacerbated by the economic climate, making social enterprise crucial to our success. We appreciate that our customers purchase for a range of reasons, not only to help their local charity, but because of the value-for-money that they get from our stores and the friendly helpfulness of our staff.
Helping our service users to become aware of their situation and highlighting the options available to them to address the position, is something we believe is fundamental to what we do. Making an informed decision is something that everyone has a right to expect. For HOPE’s clients,where their personal circumstances are likely to be at crisis, being able to discuss things with an informed independent third party can be invaluable.
HOPE is committed to training and developing its staff and volunteers, the most valuable resource we have available to meet the need of service users. Allowing people to develop their knowledge and experience offers the charity an opportunity to improve and become more effective, whilst at the same time provides much greater job satisfaction. Moreover, HOPE also has 2 apprentices currently with them, who are gaining on the job experiences as well as gaining new knowledge and skills needed.