Windfall to help volunteers care for growing numbers of homeless and hungry Rugbeians - The Rugby Observer

Windfall to help volunteers care for growing numbers of homeless and hungry Rugbeians

Andy Morris 29th Jan, 2018   0

CARE for the town’s growing numbers of homeless people will improve thanks to a windfall received by the Hope 4 Rugby charity.

The charity has been awarded a Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities grant worth more than £300,000 over three years.

This news was announced at the charity’s AGM held in the Hope Centre in Newbold Road on Saturday (January 27).

The charity’s chair, Rev Dr Michael Bochenski, said it was wonderful news.

He said: “This funding will enable us to appoint a Projects Manager to oversee the many projects, new and old, that the Hope Centre is committed to.

“It will also mean we can appoint a practice nurse who will become a first point of basic health care contact for the centre’s homeless guests.

“New training courses will also be gradually introduced for our service users over the next three years.”

He also welcomed Diana Mansell – who currently heads up the charity’s Rugby Foodbank project – as his replacement, who will take over as chair of Hope 4 in April when he steps down after nine years.

He added: “I can think of no-one better suited to take over this key leadership role than Diana. As well as her brilliant work in building up the Rugby Foodbank, Diana has also served as trustee of Hope 4 Rugby, and is already very well connected with churches and community groups across the borough.”

Mrs Mansell said it was an exciting time to take up the role.

She said: “It’s a privilege to have been chosen to serve in this capacity alongside a very committed team of trustees and staff, and the huge army of faithful volunteers.

“The Big Lottery grant will allow us to expand the much needed services we provide to so many people as well as bring financial stability.

“We will also soon be employing a part-time foodbank project manager as I move into my new role.”

The AGM also heard details of the growing demands on the charity.

Figures released in 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.

In the same month, Rugby Foodbank revealed 2,004 three-day food packages were given to local people in crisis between April and September 2017, up by over a quarter on the previous year.

Speaking at the AGM, Mayor Belinda Garcia said: “Rugby is a wonderful place where volunteers make such a difference to people’s lives.

“The 300 or so volunteers who help in all the work of Hope 4 Rugby make such a valuable contribution to some of our town’s most vulnerable people.”


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