In a special edition of our weekly newsletter, Sol Haven interviewed Tanya Haji-Miller, one of the fundraisers at The Hope Centre in Northampton to find out what they do and how we can all help more.
As a charity supported by the community, as well as trusts and grants to keep it going, the Hope Centre plays a pivotal role in helping the homeless and vulnerable in and around Northampton.
Set up in 1974 by Michael Mulligan as the Northampton Soup Kitchen, the centre provides training and support for those who are struggling with the pressures of day to day living.
It helps service users, by giving them a ‘hand-up’, not just a ‘hand-out’ - assisting them in writing CV’s, training them in skills such as catering and giving them a real sense of purpose throughout, reconnecting them to Mother Nature and giving them back their confidence.
As well as supporting the homeless and anyone with mental health issues, it also helps anyone on benefits to provide for their own families by offering discounted, fresh fruit and vegetables through their food club.
With between 120 and 150 service users per day, it’s an expensive task to keep the centre running, let alone tackle any new projects or campaigns to try to reverse the recent increased trend in poverty and homelessness.
So it relies on the support of smaller ventures like Sol Haven, as well as larger corporate backers to pay for the £600,000 a year to keep the lights on and the 20 full time and 40 volunteers a place to offer their support.
The Hope Centre continues to be a shining beacon of light in our community and Sol Haven are proud to be able to support it through donations and volunteering.