The Hope centre is a Christian charity deriving support and working in partnership from local statutory organisations, business and members of the community . It is a place of Hope and friendship, it is a place that reflects family. The Hope centre is inspired by the life and work of Jesus and reflect his love in all we do. We are inspired by the early church in the book of Acts, where the Bible says the early Christians shared all their possessions in common, gave freely to those in need, served one another to make sure all were looked after and no one was left out. The Hope Centres aim is to bring this about by working with the community in the community, it is becoming a reality as we are witnessing the changes in our supporters and in this wonderful community. We recognise that a loving and supportive community can be highly effective for healing loneliness and mental and spiritual health. Along with all our practical services we will try to meet these needs if the individual is seeking it.
Our volunteers are recruited from various sources including those who use the centre facilities, local businesses M.Fortune, churches, from other voluntary bodies and from our local DCVS (Dudley council for voluntary services) We adopt a non-judgemental approach and treat all who come as equally valuable, regardless of race, faith, sexuality, gender or social standing or any factor.
Everyone is invited to the Hope centre. In the past year with your generous support whether you donated goods, clothing, furniture, volunteered or given financially you have supported hundreds of people out of fear, poverty, anxiety, loneliness and hopelessness.
We believe that everybody deserves an equal chance in life. There are no exceptions in the kingdom. We serve a God who loves everyone and at Hope everyone is invited into the comfort and security of Hope. . Each person has the right to experience joy, happiness and hope. We continue to meet the needs of all who use our centre. There is nothing more rewarding for us than seeing someone break through barriers and take control of their life. The team at the HOPE Centre are ready to support, encourage, guide and advise individuals and families or to refer them to other professionals. From the basic 1-1 support to issues that can affect the entire family and community such as alcohol, addiction, violence, disability poverty. Hunger, fear, unemployment, inequality, injustice, illness, loneliness, mental health and debt.
The Hope Centre has modelled all its services on the needs of the community. We have a number of free services and courses. The Esol course which runs three days a week has been very well attended. Other initiatives provided in the hope centre include DMBS housing advice, support groups, Hiv and sexual health testing, Sexual health advice and support, ESOL classes, One click support, UK. Online IT courses, CV writing, Application and form filling, Immigration support and advice, drop in support, one to one support, reading and writing, advocacy and health and wellbeing, There is always a place to be you a place to drop in as family and be supported as family. The drop-in support and drop in IT is very popular we have been very busy since the changeover to universal credit. We also offer befriending, drop in prayer support, Food clothing and Furniture provision.
The change over to universal credit has been very demanding on all of us at the hope centre. The problems of implementing universal credit have not been thought out at all, and the signs are there with people losing their homes, their benefits their dignity. The latest ONS figures released show that just over 10 per cent of the British public -5.3m people – have never used the internet. You cannot claim universal credit if you cannot use the internet, forcing people into financial hardship. Vulnerable groups are not really considered. Each person has to apply online and search for jobs online 37 hours per week as part of the ‘claimant commitment. The hope centre volunteers are amazing, they are very supportive and work with people to support them with their online claim. We have therefore bought a new laptop and tablets to ensure that more people can be seen as a matter of urgency. The tablets are a fantastic resource. When the offices are full and the drop-in computers are booked up we can now sit with individuals on a 1-1 basis anywhere in the building. This is so important as making a claim for universal credit can take up to eight weeks before an individual receives any money.
We have also been very blessed by M.Fortune a local business in Halesowen who refitted out our computer room with 5 new pcs for people to use. This gift has ensured that no one when they come to the cente has to be turned away. Thank you Caroline at M. Fortune.
Faith and hope
Our furniture project has extended since we purchased our van. We could no longer keep up with the need for furniture and the storage of goods. We were approached by Our Lady of Lourdes a local church who asked if we could allow them the use of our van they wanted to support local people with furniture and household goods but had no way of picking furniture up or any one to deliver goods to families. We have now partnered with a local Church in Old Hill to extend the project to the wider communities of the black country.
The church Our Lady of Lourdes in Cradley Heath provide a great storage space at the back of the church to store all the furniture to distribute to any one in need. Our van picks up the furniture the church and the hope centre distribute it to anyone in need. The partnership is amazing and it is wonderful to be able to help women and children who are leaving womens refuges, to provide support for asylum seekers and refugees being homed, homeless getting their first tenancy and anyone in financial hardship to support in whatever way we can. To ease burdens is very rewarding and we are thankful to be part of Faith and Hope.
One to One Reading support
We provide one to one reading and writing support. People can book in for a hour session to have one to one support learning to read and write. This has been very beneficial to many adults who have difficulties in this area and are experiencing low self esteem. “ The World Literacy Foundation said one in five of the UK population are so poor at reading and writing they struggle to read a medicine label”According to research, this rate of illiteracy is costing the UK economy £81billion a year in lost earnings and increased welfare spending..
A study by the National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and numeracy (NRDC), found that taking a parent who cannot read and training them to the level of an average 11-year-old resulted in the test results of their children aged six to 16 doubling. We have witnessed the impact that learning an adult to read can have. We have in the past provided adult literacy classes. However due to the policies held by colleges, adult learning and other educational institutions the classes never worked. Also many colleges and institutions who provide education do so in large groups which can be very intimidating to someone who is lacking in confidence or feeling ashamed.
The withdrawal of courses has an “immediate and devastating impact” on learners. Also the policies of having to have 8 or more attendees to host a class has its barriers. If six individuals who are feeling ashamed or lacking in confidence seek and find the strength to attend a class turn up to a class for the first time enrol and find when they attend the following week it has been cancelled due to their not being enough people enrolled this can and does has a big impact on the individual who has built themselves up to attend the group. This can prevent them from not only integrating with others and becoming more isolated, but from getting into employment and off benefits.
The Hope centre offers
Who can learn?
Health and wellbeing
We are offering Hiv testing, sexual health advice through our partnership summit house, and offering ongoing support to everyone we meet. We can refer people to summit house and also call people in to the centre to meet with someone who requires their services.
We continue to host a number of social support groups.
Regardless of format of the group , in a support group, people connect with others and share with others problems similar to your own. Members of our support groups work and are effective as they share their personal experiences and offer one another emotional comfort and moral support. They also offer one another practical advice and tips to help cope with similar situations. Support groups bring together people facing similar issues, whether that's illness, relationship problems or major life changes. Members of support groups often share experiences and advice. It can be helpful just getting to talk with other people who are in the same situation.
We have found that the support groups benifit by providing a space to feel free welcomed, believed listened too and sharing with a person who has been in your shoes the feedback from the groups have stated that benefits include:
Online support Job Search
We are a UK Online centre that is open three days a week for anyone to drop in and access support.
Again we offer this service on a daily basis to support people with their job search. It is a vital service in particular for those who cannot read or write, those with low self esteem, those that have never used a computer, those that do not have a computer at home, and also those with disabilities. If a person does not reach the requirement of job application placed by their advisor at the job centre then they can be sanctioned for three weeks, three months and finally three years.
Sunday pop up café
In Halesowen alone we have 12 homeless men and two homeless women who attend our centre on a daily basis to get a bite to eat, a hot drink, a wash and a friend to chat too. Through consulting with our homeless family we decided to open our pop up Sunday café.
The attendance to the Sunday meal has been wonderful, change can and does start over a meal, a chat. Homelessness, Abandonment, addiction, sickness and unemployment are just some of the huge problems our guests face when they come here. The pop up café has been amazing. We are able to chat over a meal give support and refer guests to appropriate services. It is wonderful seeing and being part of the life changing moments, it bears fruit when there is hope that tomorrow can be a better day.
We have a church that now meets in the Hope Centre building every Sunday 10am -12pm. The redeemed Church of God are a lively Pentecostal church that welcomes everyone to join them on a Sunday morning, They are a very community focussed church and fit in well with our activities at the Hope centre.
Men’s support group
A men’s support group for those experiencing depression, anxiety addiction and so forth is held every Thursday in the centre this peer s
support group is like no other it is run by the men themselves and has been very effective. Jon who hosts the group has won awards for his work. We are blessed to host this group at Hope.
Womens support group.
Meets every Wednesday to support women who experience anxiety , stress and depression.
They meet to share experiences, seek information, interact socially and make new friends. The group provides a relaxed, friendly and welcoming environment to talk, find support and information.
Second time around shop.
The Shop is a wonderful asset that is run by volunteers. All the money raised is put back into the Hope Centre to support the running of the centre. The shop sells new and nearly new designer clothing to raise funds.
We have to thank Sally Noott who works tirelessly all year to ensure the shop is equipped with the latest designer clothing. Sally collects from friends and anyone who will give their clothing and she brings them to hope. Sally is amazing she brings elegance and style to our shop, many comment on how wonderful our stock is, we appreciate everything Sally does the shop would not be the same without her support.
We must also thank all those that donate clothing to the centre and to the shop ..a big thank you we could not do it without you.
Recently we have taken in furniture from a local charity make do and amend that upcycles old unwanted furniture and turns each piece into wonderful stylish chic furniture that is sold at a low cost. Make do and amend split the profits from each item sold with the Hope centre.
Having the furniture in the shop has bought in new customers who would not normally go into a charity shop this has been very beneficial for everyone.
The daily drop-in aims to meet the needs of those who are in crisis or homeless and to provide a welcome and connection to community. Some drop in just for a few days and others remain almost permanently. On average our visitors stay with us for around 3 months before finding a way forward.
We try to address practical needs, but also to connect people with supportive community. Many who come to us in crisis return to volunteer, or they find positive social connection amongst us.
We find that our welcoming, restorative community is a place where those who are lonely and marginalised can find healing more valuable than the practical support we offer. In serving those in need our volunteers are also transformed and so we try to provide benefit to our whole community and not just those in crisis.
Food & drink:
Complimentary tea/coffee, toast and toppings. lunches Fare share food from tescos and the Sunday pop up café.
Clothing underwear and cold weather support:
Complimentary clothes and shoes/trainers for everyone who attends or is sent to us via an organisation is given freely, and cold weather clothing and sleeping bags. We attend to around 2000 requests for clothing annually and give out hundreds of quality clothes and sleeping bags.
free use of internet/computers, telephones for support
Afternoon art activities include the drop in crafty sessions held nearly every Tuesday and Thursday from 12.30 -3.00pm and several community groups use the centre free of charge as a meeting place.
Want to get involved at The Hope Centre? If you are interested in volunteering please get in contact with us! Follow us on facebook @thehopecentre or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out how by contacting us at:
3&4 Andrew Road
Charity No: 1148606
Registered in England & Wales