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Hope Centre in Halesowen becomes a registered charity
7:40am Wednesday 17th October 2012 in News
HALESOWEN’s Hope Centre has successfully become a registered charity after being formed just three years ago.
The founders of the centre are hoping the registered charity status will bring in new revenue and secure the future of the organisation.
Camilla Philips and Wendy Riley kept the Highfields estate centre alive when funding was cut three years ago and now the centre is thriving.
Mrs Philips was inspired to form the Hope Centre voluntary group because of her Christian faith, although she is keen to point out that the Hope Centre welcomes people of all faiths.
She said: “People come to us for all sorts of reasons.
“They may be unemployed, lonely, lacking in confidence, hungry or cold. For whatever the reason they come to us, they are welcome.”
The Andrew Road centre attracts local people as a drop-in centre and also offers education and support to those who come through the doors.
Visitors can make themselves a hot drink, have a chat or use the computers to access information - basic computer training is available free of charge.
Up to fourteen volunteers help run the Hope Centre between 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday.
Mrs Philips is grateful Dudley Council for Voluntary Service (Dudley CVS) were on hand to help out.
She said: “We started with £1,000 I had in a bank account. “We were enthusiastic, willing and able volunteers, but we had no organisational structure or other means of funding.
“Dudley CVS has specialist officers who, amongst other services, can help you find funding opportunities and guide you as the organisation evolves.
“We are especially grateful to Caroline Webb at Dudley CVS for helping us through the process of becoming a registered charity.”
The founders are hoping more income will allow centre to widen its services for longer hours and at weekends.
The Hope Centre now also stocks household furniture and donations of sofas, chairs, tables, sideboards and bookcases are welcome.
Furniture is recycled to people in need for a fraction of the true worth or even free of charge in certain cases.