Since 2004, the Hope Centre has provided high quality support and training for those most removed from society. The charity grew out of a church initiative to support people challenged by unemployment, skills shortages and social deprivation and have provided courses, advice and guidance to hundreds of people in the borough. We were a major recipient of ESF funding which enabled us to provide training, advice and support to the unemployed.
In 2006, our work grew to include the town’s only soup kitchen, supporting the homeless in the centre of the town. Since then the service has been developed and transformed into a fully functioning drop in centre. ‘Hope House’ now provides a basic needs service with food and personal care alongside advice, advocacy and support, creating a safe space for those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness. Hope House is often the first point of reference for those who need it, giving us the opportunity to signpost people to engage with other agencies, treatment services and other community support in the borough.
More recently the Hope Centre has built on our partnerships to introduce new initiatives to the town. In November 2012 a steering group from organisations around the town, led by the Hope Centre, launched St Helens Foodbank. An additional pilot began in 2015 with a debt advisor introduced to each hub session to provide on the spot triage. Our most recent project began in April 2015 in partnership with St Theresa’s Church. Baby Basics is designed to provide a starter pack of essentials to new mums who need support as they welcome their babies into the world. Initially from Sheffield, we are excited to introduce this fantastic project to St Helens.