Agenda item

The Hope Hub


Mags Mercer, Chief Executive Officer, gave an update on the Hope Hub which was a charitable organisation which worked to prevent and end Homelessness within Surrey Heath.


The Hope Hub provided crisis and empowerment services for anyone who was or was at risk of becoming homeless, or whom was struggling with mental health, debt issues and unemployment. This included provision of emergency relief and items and one to one casework support, employment advice; and money and debt advice. The Hope Hub continued to be open throughout during the national lockdowns but had reduced their client-open days to two to three days a week.  One to One appointments for clients continued in order to try to house them, the Hope Hub’s IT services continued to be utilised and recently a gazebo had allowed refinement of the Hope Hub’s hot food offering which had continued all throughout the pandemic.


The Hope Hub had seen a dramatic uptake in its services in comparison to previous financial years; and its service had been accessed 4688 times between April and October which was approximately double the number of times which the Hope Hub’s services had been accessed during the same months the year before. There had also been a significant rise in new clients and the amount of clients housed, and food parcels provided.


The Hope Hub had experienced rise in numbers of domestic abuse cases, clients with mental health problems, unemployment and destitution which could be attributed to the pandemic. In addition it was found that the Hope Hub’s clients with the most complex issues had regressed whilst working with the Hope Hub during the pandemic.


Despite the pandemic, the Hope Hub’s employment support service had managed to get 16 clients into work. Moreover, The Hope Hub was looking to reintroduce its regular employment, living-well, cooking and employment support workshops as soon as possible post pandemic.


Looking forward to the 21-22 financial year, the Hope Hub was aiming for the opening of the emergency night stop accommodation being carried out in partnership with the Council. In addition the charity was aiming to increase its upskilling and social enterprise offering; which would lead to increased training, qualifications and employment opportunities for its clients.


The Hope Hub aimed to continue to work in close partnership with organisations such as Citizens Advice Surrey Heath and Accent Housing, as well as statutory bodies such as the Police and NHS, which had recently worked with the Hope Hub to arrange flu jab access and Hepatitis B screening for clients.


·         There was potential for the Hope Hub to apply for significant funding from the Surrey County Council Community Fund for the Hope House project which had significant potential to alleviate homelessness throughout the Borough.

·         Since the inception of the Hope Hub a few years ago, the organisation had made significant progress which could be attributed to the people involved.

·         It was appreciated that there would be higher numbers of Surrey Heath residents needing the services of the Hope Hub in the coming years.

·         The Hope Hub had plans to expand and to recruit a Head of Operations and a Project Officer to look after strategy and future fundraising.

·         At present there was significant local authority and governmental funding for the charity sector. However it was suggested that this could possibly dry-up in the future. Although the Hope Hub was aiming to grow its reserves, this could hit other organisations in the charitable sector which would put strain on and lead to increased demand for the Hope Hub’s services.

·         Councillors were in a great position via social media to relay to their constituents what items the Hope Hub was in need of.

·         At least 90% of The Hope Hub’s clients were in Surrey Heath residents.

The Committee thanked Mags and her team for attending and the continued outstanding work they undertook within Surrey Heath.



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