The Northampton Hope Centre was one of 17 homeless charities across the world to receive funding from The Fine & Country Foundation’s first grant scheme in spring 2018, which gave more than £60,000 to homeless projects.
Jonathan Lloyd-Ham, Partner in Fine & Country Northampton and Charlotte Schofield, Foundation Coordinator, visited the Hope Centre in June to learn more about the ‘Gardening for Hope’ project. It received a £3,000 grant.
The Hope Centre was gifted a large allotment site which they have completely transformed in just a few months. The grant funded two sheds in the project.
The two sheds funded by The Fine & Country Foundation spring 2018 grant
The site is a recreational area of service users and a place for them to learn about horticulture from the professional gardener. They can learn and develop new skills as well as gain qualifications to help them obtain work placements and full-time employment. Additionally, they will learn about healthy eating, provide food for the centre and have a safe and peaceful space.
The psychological benefits of gardening and having a private outdoor area are significant. Many service users at the Hope Centre, and within all homeless charities, suffer from varied forms of mental illness. The calming and quiet environment help service users improve a number of issues, including: anger management, anxiety and substance abuse.
The allotment featuring: potatoes, tomatoes and the two sheds funded by the Fine & Country Foundation grant
Jonathan and Charlotte toured the centre and heard about the wide range of activities provided. The centre’s hub holds breakfast and lunch five days a week and has recently opened on Saturdays, too. Service users can clean or replace clothing, play pool and watch films here.
There are also a number of smaller rooms that host counselling sessions, art classes and many more activities. They recently held an art exhibition, featuring the service users’ artwork, much of which was sold on the day.
Jonathan Lloyd-Ham from Fine & Country Northampton said: “One of the first things that struck me when Charlotte and I entered the Hope Centre with our giant cheque was how happy the service users were. They were all making jokes, getting excited about why we were there and asking for photos.”
Charlotte Schofield, Fine & Country Foundation Coordinator said: “I have seen a number of homeless charities and the Hope Centre was the most uplifting charity I have visited. The gardening project is a huge success and we cannot wait to see the first juicy tomatoes this summer.”
We will continue to update you on the progress of each of the charities, who received grants in our spring programme. For more information about the successful charities, click here.
Our next grant scheme is open 1st – 31st October 2018. Registered homeless charities are invited to apply for up to £15,000 of funding. Find out more here.
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