It’s finally Spring and The HOPE Centre has some great news about funding as well as many activities and courses. Read on for all the news from HOPE.
Spring News from HOPE
Spring has come early at HOPE with two pieces of exciting news: Edward Harley Esq., High Sheriff of Herefordshire awarded us a grant to contribute to the work we do with families and children at the Centre and purchase some much needed resources. We are really grateful for the support he gave HOPE during his year as High Sheriff.
The second piece of great news was that we were successful in our application to the Cabinet Office for Local Sustainability Funding.
The funding is for 12 months and will provide, amongst other things, investment in the future of the organisation through staff training, a Management Information System and a new database and reporting tool that will help market and evidence the work that will help sustain future activities and services in the community.
We have sadly come to the end of our Reaching Communities funding from Big Lottery and were really pleased with the feedback we received from them:
It was great to see… the difference the project has made to people’s lives through the range of courses and opportunities that have been provided, the strong working relationships that have been built with a number of local agencies and the increasing amount of community activity taking place at the café.
We have had a busy start to April: we were at the Bromyard Speed Festival providing Welfare Officers helping with lost children and also running face painting for the children; we are meeting with Councillors Gandy, Holton and Andrews to share our experiences of providing early help and support to families in the community; and Sarah Eardley, CEO, will be attending the Declaration in Hereford, of Bill Jackson Esq as the new High Sheriff of Herefordshire. We have also signed up to be a venue exhibiting local art for H-art in September and are delighted that we will be welcoming some new artists to the centre later in the year.
HOPE has also said its fond farewells to our founder and ex-CEO, Sheenagh Davis, MBE, who has now officially begun her retirement – although anyone who knows Sheenagh well will know that there is no such word in her vocabulary. We are all pleased that Sheenagh remains involved with HOPE and our work as a contact centre by supervising contact sessions. Her knowledge and experience is really appreciated.
Spring has Sprung in Early Years Education!
Welcome back to all our children and families, we hope you had a peaceful Easter Break. This term we look forward to warmer weather, transitions between rooms and then off to school for some of our preschool children.
We will celebrate together with a joint summer fête and graduation ceremony on 16th July. All families and friends are welcome to attend – we’ll give you more details on the fête and graduation in the coming months.
We continue to spend time with the preschool children in the Woodland School each week. We’ll be watching out for new shoots and leaves and listening to bird songs.
It will be good not to have to wear so many layers! Our friend Lara will be leading the next two sessions as she completes her Forest School leaders qualification.
The contact centre at HOPE continues to grow and is an integral part of HOPE’s philosophy to help maintain and support families in the community.
This quarter 41 children have had contact with a family member using our service and we have had a total of 29 families during the same period.
We are currently focussing on our reaccreditation and how we move the Centre forward to be recognised as one of excellence. We continuously strive to improve our services and remain child focussed and centred in our approach.
In a recent survey of adults and children receiving the service, we were pleased to receive really positive feedback:
- 90% of children like coming here to meet their non-resident parent
- 100% rated us ‘fantastic’ when asked about the support and help they received from workers
- 100% of the parents asked would recommend us to another family.
Call us for more information about our Contact Centre.
HOPE at the Bromyard Speed Festival
On Sunday the 3rd of April HOPE staff were in the centre of Bromyard as a part of the very popular Bromyard Speed Festival.
The Speed Festival had its inaugural event this year, and the town centre was packed with people watching the classic cars.
Staff and volunteers from HOPE acted as Welfare Officers helping with lost children, and we also ran face painting for any children at the festival.
We had such a great time that we’re still talking about it now! It was great to feel the community spirit of Bromyard and to help that community spirit thrive.
Thanks to everyone for helping make the day that much better for everyone.
News from Supporting Families
The Supporting Families team continue to support local families and facilitate groups at HOPE. We have welcomed Heidi Mulholland, an experienced support worker, to the team. Heidi is looking after Sam Rolfe’s caseload and new families while Sam is on maternity leave.
The Thursday groups for new mums and babies is still very popular and is a great place to meet other mums and access support. We offer breastfeeding support at this group and Heidi is there for any questions or support needs you have.
Our Wednesday group is still sensory play but due to the better weather coming we will be doing a lot more outside and less in the sensory room so please wear old clothes as it can get very messy – as you can see above!
We are funded by the Local Authority to help families access 2 year old funding for nursery places. If you think you may be eligible for this and would like support to access the funding or a placement please contact us. There is no obligation to take up the funding.
HOPE can help you access training opportunities if there is no one currently employed in your family home. If you would like support or information about training opportunities or getting back into employment then please contact us on 01885 488495 and speak to the Supporting Families team or the Training department.
Referrals into supporting families can come from other professionals, schools and Health visitors and midwives but most importantly families or relatives can refer themselves.
Free Courses at HOPE
We are pleased to be able to offer a variety of workshops this term that are free for adults who are not working. Dates and times are yet to be confirmed but topics planned are:
- Creative Ideas for Holiday Activities with your Children – Mondays
- Skin Care, Make-up and Massage sessions – all on Friday mornings
- Basic Photography Skills, Photographing Children and Creative Photography – probably Thursday afternoons or Fridays at the end of July.
Also free for those not working is our popular Men in the Kitchen course. Running on Monday evenings in our Training Kitchen, aspiring cooks can learn basic skills and practice using them to create economical and tasty meals to take home to impress their family.
Other courses offered free at HOPE include Maths (Thursdays 12.30–3pm) and English (Tuesdays 9.30am–12). If you are 19 and over you can study up to a Level 2 in Functional Skills (equivalent to GCSE level) and new courses start again in September. Places are limited so please get in touch if you would like to gain a qualification and/or improve your job prospects.
If you are out of work or looking for a better job we also offer a free Job Club on Wednesdays (1.30–4pm). With support from Fortis Living we are able to offer help with job searches, C.V. writing, confidence building and interview skills. Several of our members have already moved on to new jobs. Come along and see if we can help you too.
If you need help with any aspect of using a computer our ICT SOS course is the one for you. Running on Wednesdays from 10am–12 this course is not free but we can offer reduced rates if you are claiming benefits and we still have spaces available this term.
Please pop in or contact us for more details.
Our Next Newsletter
The next newsletter from HOPE will come out in the summer, with more news and information about what we’re doing. In the meantime look out for Building Blocks, our Early Years Education newsletter, which will be out next month.