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HOPE gives a huge thank you
HOPE is Bassetlaw’s charity for those who are homeless. Based in Worksop since 1996, when it opened a soup kitchen, it has developed a range of services including; Nottinghamshire’s only 24 hour direct access Emergency Accommodation Hostel for those who have nowhere else, various move-on properties, and support for those who are at risk of losing their home.
HOPE receives no central funding from the government and has to generate every penny it spends. In today’s economic climate this is tough and the only certainty is that it is likely to become even harder as time goes on. We do receive income for each resident who stays with us, however, as a social landlord our rents are capped to below the commercial level, so that they are affordable. Our operation is overseen by the Charities Commission, to whom we are accountable.
Like many other charities, we have a shop offering High Street branded clothes – Essential Designs in Worksop, and an on-line store that is proving increasingly popular. This income is extremely helpful and allows us to offer the services we do to those without a home but, that is only part of the picture.
We receive hundreds of donations from individual members of the public and businesses. It can be; a monthly standing order from Mr Smith, a cheque from a sponsored school event, a charity night at the local pub, students bag-packing at a supermarket, clothing given when a wardrobe is purged, surplus food donated from a national supermarket, toiletries by a Scout group, or sanitary products from a faith group…… The variety is growing as is the level of ingenuity, fantastic!
Businesses do often get bad press, which is not our experience locally. Marks & Spencer and Gregg’s regularly give us food; cakes, biscuits, sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit and veg, bread and more. Local churches, schools and convenience stores donate regularly. Retford Rotary and B&Q have been long-standing supporters. All of which help us to feed our people, who may have nothing when they arrive at our door – last year we distributed over 4,000 meals.
We provide intensive 1:1 support and advice to all our service users, often over many months. In 2017 we had over 80 people stay in our hostel, a figure which we expect to rise further in 2018, as council’s struggle with diminishing resources and growing demands for services. Welfare cuts and changes to benefits, such as Universal Credit have left growing numbers of people struggling to keep a roof over their head, whether they have a job or not. We help those who are in danger of being evicted by their Landlord.
Finally, we would like to thank those who have contributed their time to HOPE – our Volunteers. Without their commitment and patience, we wouldn’t be able operate as we do. Our clothing shop alone has 11 such individuals, all of whom are dedicated and hardworking, and who give of their time freely.
On behalf of HOPE, I would like to thank everyone for their unbelievable help and support. The people who are able to benefit from our services are truly grateful to each and every one of you.