Beginnings of Hope Community
Hope Community began in 1985 when Sisters of the Infant Jesus moved onto the Heath Town Estate in Wolverhampton. They started knocking on doors and discovered that people were living in fear in their own homes, frightened to come out; they spent their time listening to the stories of the people, to their lives, to the injustices they faced every day. Unemployment was above the national average and many people felt forgotten by society, the church and even their own families. By listening to the people, the very desperate needs of families living there were first highlighted. They were joined over the years by many willing volunteers from all over the world.
In 1994 the project formed a partnership with Father Hudson’s Society (now known as Father Hudson’s Care) enabling it to employ staff and providing support in administration, management and fundraising, and so the first lay people were employed. Guided by the needs of local people the project evolved and developed and in 1999, with funding from the Henry Smith Charity, opened a family centre in the heart of the estate. In 2005 the last Infant Jesus Sister moved from the estate and the work continued with a small paid staff team and volunteers.
Hope Community registered as an independent charity in December 2010, with the Infant Jesus Sisters, Father Hudson’s Care and the Archdiocese of Birmingham (represented by St Patrick’s Church) as the founding trustees. Hope also has representation on its Board of Trustees from other churches, organisations and individuals and appreciates support received, in particular from Holy Trinity, Heath Town.