Hope Community has a team of 8 paid members of staff and 41 dedicated volunteers. We are dependent on grant and trust funding for our services which are crucial to people often overlooked and who slip through the net. Working in a preventative way we build relationships of trust with people of all ages; the young at risk of becoming involved in negative life styles; women experiencing challenging situations in their lives; older people at risk of becoming isolated and lonely in their own homes; people who feel they have no future; people young and old who have no aspirations.
We believe that everyone has a value and with support can move forward to become the best that they can be.
Based at the heart of the Heath Town Estate in Wolverhampton, we are very proud of our place in the community working alongside and with our service users. We build relationship of trust with people, listen to them and take action to help and deliver the right support, when they need it. We understand the presenting needs but one of the unique things about Hope is that through our way of working we identify underlying needs which are often hidden. This trust has been built over 30 years and we are extremely proud and privileged to be this committed, long term support to people who need a helping hand, despite the barriers and challenges they face.
The estate is typical of the design in the 1960s with high rise tower blocks and low rise maisonette blocks. It is one of the most deprived and ethnically diverse communities falling within the worst 5% of wards nationally in terms of health, education, employment, housing, crime, and child poverty. 45% of children live in poverty. It is ranked within the city’s top 3 areas for high levels of drugs, gang violence and youth crime. Domestic violence, drugs and alcohol abuse are prevalent within households on Heath Town estate – Office of National Statistics, 2011 Census, 2012 Heath Town Ward Profile, and 2014-16 Heathfield Park Local Neighbourhood Plan. This deprivation and violence seriously affects the lives of the children and young people who disclose fears and reprisals of gang affiliation, grooming, and sexual exploitation. They fear becoming like family members – generational non-workers, gang members, with no aspirations.
Families struggle with lack of funds due to unemployment or benefit sanctions which impacts on their relationships and ability to provide a stable home life for the children.
Many older people live in fear of leaving their own homes or become isolated through the loss of their spouse, partner or friends. As they grow older their physical and mental health suffers and this can affect their ability to attend important GP or other medical appointments.
Heath Town is home to people from all parts of the world. For many years the population was mainly Afro-Caribbean and white but since 2001 the area has welcomed asylum seekers, refugees and migrants from other European countries, at the last count there were 41 different languages spoken in the area.
We work with the most vulnerable and isolated people, some who have no recourse to public funds, which financially excludes and socially isolates them.
The focus of the work remains the same as when it began in 1985 which is to seek out and find the most vulnerable and isolated people in our midst and to integrate and help build a successful multi-cultural community where the gifts of each individual are recognised and appreciated.
It is a privilege to be trusted and welcomed into people’s lives and homes during some of the most challenging, sad, happy or difficult times in their lives.
‘Whatever happens, be always at peace and trust in God. What you experience will be in proportion to your faith, your hope and your love and even more abundantly than that.’
(Letter 61. Nicolas Barré – Founder of the Infant Jesus Sisters)