THE CHARITY which helps the homeless and hungry in Rugby is holding an open day at its Newbold Road HQ, to coincide with World Homelessness Day.
Hope4’s Hope Centre will open its doors to the public to showcase a recent renovation, including a new clinic.
The project was funded by grants from Screwfix Foundation and Opportunity2Hope, topped up with donations from fund-raisers and benefactors.
Hope4 has also appointed a new Project and Volunteer Manager thanks to a National Lottery grant worth more than £300,000 over three years.
Hope4 chair Diana Mansell said: “It has been amazing to see how the building, community and individuals across the town have come together to support the renovation project.
“We are extremely grateful for all the help we have received and the encouragement it gives to all of us, including our volunteers and clients.
“We want to make the Hope Centre a real hub where homeless people get holistic care including addressing health issues. We are now looking to partner with specialists such as nurse practitioners, podiatrists, chiropractors, dentists and opticians who would base in our new health care clinic.
“We really hope the public will come to our Open Day and see the amazing work that goes on in the heart of Rugby for some of the most vulnerable in our town.”
Since a group of churches across Rugby began Hope4 as a ‘soup kitchen’ in 2005, the charity has opened a day centre, the Rugby Foodbank and the Rugby Winter Shelter.
At the Hope Centre homeless adults, particularly rough sleepers, are helped by volunteers and staff who provide basic necessities such as food, shelter, showers, laundry, clothing and sleeping bags. They also provide advice, guidance and support around issues such as housing, benefits, addictions, health care and job searching.
The charity and its 300-plus volunteers will open the Winter Shelter from December 1 to March 31, when one of seven locations in the town will provide meals and a warm place to sleep for homeless people during freezing temperatures.
Figures released last November showed there were 224 homeless people in Rugby borough – the highest of any district in Warwickshire – up by nearly 124 per cent from just over 100 in 2013.
The Hope Centre Open Day takes place on Wednesday (October 10) from 10am-7pm. Everyone is welcome to drop in for a coffee and chat with staff and volunteers.
Hope4 still needs funds to keep the Centre open. Visit www.hope4.org.uk for details of how to donate or volunteer.