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winter warmer

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We are pleased to announce that we have been selected by Northampton Borough Council to provide this year’s SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) for the town. In partnership with NAASH and NBC we will be opening our doors to ensure that there is a warm and safe place for homeless people to sleep when temperatures drop below 0°c on 3 consecutive nights. A team of qualified staff and volunteers will run the facility, which will be based here at the Hope Centre. The NBC Outreach Worker will refer clients and by working together with current users of the Hope Centre plus posters around the town we will ensure that all rough sleepers are made aware of the facility and no-one needs to spend the night outside. If you are interested in volunteering at the SWEP then please email or for full details.

sleepout 2012 Our biggest and most popular fundraiser is the annual Sleepout that is always during Poverty and Homelessness Action Week in late January/early February. We wanted to make sure that you had plenty of notice to get ready for the 2012 Sleepout so please put it in your diary will give you something to look forward to after Christmas! There has been a Sleepout at the Hope Centre for many years, it is a popular way for homeless charities to raise awareness and funds. In 2009 Kate Bellamy revived the Sleepout and you helped us to raise an amazing £5,000. In 2010 this grew to over £8,000 and in 2011 more than £12,000! So we have big hopes for 2012....can you help us to make it to £18,000? That would pay for a full time member of staff for a whole year to work with our clients, helping them to break the cycle of homelessness, addiction, unemployment and poverty. Imagine the difference that would make to so many lives! All you have to do is email to confirm that you would like to take part. We will send you a ‘Sleeper’s Pack’ which includes all the info you need on getting sponsorship, what to wear etc.

01604 602456

call Debbie on

If your company, sports club or organisation would like to know more about sponsorship opportunities on our website or publicity materials please get in touch.

Sponsorship opportunities

Please, please join us and bring a friend too. 50 sleepers raised £12,300 so just think what 80 could raise! Can you help us get to £18,000? If you can’t come along then please sponsor us Help spread the us for a poster that you can print and put up at your church, school, work, corner shop, community centre – you get the idea! Friday 3rd February 2012. 6pm – 6am. - St Giles Church Yard, St Giles Terrace, Northampton

Be part of our team... If it wasn’t for the willing team of volunteers, we would cease to function. If you are interested in getting involved,

call Sarah on

01604 602456

quarterlyquote... byRalphWaldoEmerson

“ What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.

contact us

Northampton Hope Cenre PO Box 472,Northampton NN1 3ZY contact us on 01604 602456


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achievement and looking forward to a better future. As usual we will be here on Christmas Day serving turkey and all the trimming to around 90 people who would otherwise be alone. The centre will be full of laughter, friendship, crackers, gifts and too many brussel sprouts.....just like many homes across Northampton! This would not be possible without your generous support this Christmas and throughout the year. With your help we need to raise £24,000 to meet the costs of being here over Christmas and throughout the cold winter months.

£10 could pay for a homeless person to have Christmas dinner and not be alone this Christmas £25 could cover the cost of an ex homeless person learning how to cook for themselves at one of our cookery workshops £50 will help us to run a weekly chiropody clinic to take care of the feet of street drinker and rough sleepers who are at high risk of serious foot disease

Welcome to our special Christmas edition of Oasis. Christmas is a happy celebration for most of us – a special time with family and friends, Christmas lights twinkling, mince pies, the anticipation of advent and finally The Day arrives. We celebrate the arrival in church and in our homes. Sadly it’s not the same for everyone. For our clients it can be lonely, cold and depressing. It brings back memories of better times and it can be hard to deal with those memories. But this Christmas Oasis is not about how difficult Christmas will be for some people this year. It’s about hope and happiness, success and • • •

If you are able to help us please donate whatever you can at or text XMAS66 £amount to 70070

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Once you donate, they send your money directly to us and make sure

Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate, saving time and cutting costs for us. Donating via text is free and the amount you donate will show on your next mobile phone bill.

It’s about hope and happiness and looking forward to a better future

Help others this christmas Become a fan of the Hope Centre on Facebook!

Our patrons: The Rt Hon Earl Spencer, DL, Sally Keeble. The Right Reverend Peter Doyle Bishop of Northampton


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What does the future hold for you? I sometimes wonder if God had a purpose of me being so low so I could help others in this position. I consider myself a fallen, wayward Christian, I haven’t been to church for years but I have never lost my faith. I sit at Streetchurch sometimes and wonder if He meant this to happen. So maybe I’m just where I’m meant to be.

around people 24 hours a day. On the streets and in the night shelter you’re never on your own so I struggled going back to an empty flat at first. One night I was sitting outside with a group of people and I just realised I could choose to sit there and stay in that life or I could fight to get a real life back. I decided to fight and I sorted my flat out and started looking for work again. Coming here through the year really helped because I was treated like a normal person with responsibilities so I felt more able to deal with things. What was the high point of this year? I really wanted to get out of the trap of my life and get back to my old normal life. So when I got a job in October, as a cleaner in a school, I just felt ecstatic, like I was finally back on the ladder and getting somewhere. I will never take things for granted again, I used to think people who were not working were lazy and should just get a job but now I have a new way of thinking. One of the goals I set myself was to find work and be able to buy Christmas presents for my kids and it feels brilliant to have finally got there. How do you feel this Christmas compared to last Christmas? I can’t really compare how I feel now to how I felt then, it’s hard to put it into words. A year ago I was about to get my own place but I had no real hope and no direction, my life was like a maze with lots of dead ends. I’ve got a purpose now, things to get up for in the morning. I’ve got myself back, there’s housework to do and shopping, bills to pay, I’ve got my work and I feel like I’m helping other people again.

‘Christmas is my worst time of year’ How and when did you first become homeless? I became officially homeless in December 2009. I had been in a 6 year relationship that came to a sudden and quite violent end. I ended up in the police cells for Christmas and had to wait for a friend to provide a remand address. It was a really tough time and Christmas is my worst time of year now. I was lucky to have a couple of good friends who let me stay on their sofa for a while, but it’s hard because you don’t want to intrude on their family life so I just tried to stay out all day and only go back there to sleep. What was your life like before? I had a good life before all this, when I look back now I realise how much I took for granted. I always had everything I needed, a nice place to stay, a car, a regular job – the same as we all want really. I worked for nearly 20 years in care homes caring for elderly people with dementia, I really loved my work and my life. What was your lowest point? After a while I couldn’t put my friends out anymore and I started living in my car. My lowest point was the night I realised that I was going to have to sleep in my car. Soon after that I lost my job as a carer because I couldn’t even look after myself properly, trying to get a shower was hard and it was obvious I was sleeping in my clothes. Being NFA (no fixed abode) I got turned down for loads of jobs so in the end I gave up looking. That was when I felt like I’d lost everything and that was when I started drinking more and hanging around on the streets because I didn’t have anything else to do. Not being able to buy Christmas or Birthday presents for my family was a really low point too. How did coming to the Hope Centre help? I heard about the Hope Centre from some friends I met on the streets. I had been trying to get help from different places but I just felt like I was being passed around and no-one was really helping. I started using the Hope Centre just to get a cup of tea and something to eat to start with. But then they started to try and persuade me to get involved in different things like art and cookery. I wasn’t that interested to begin with but I tried some of the activities and it did take my mind off my problems. I’ve been encouraged to go to some self help and confidence building courses with others from the Centre. This has helped me no end in my thinking, I think more positive and I set goals now. When did you start to turn things around? In September 2010 I got a bed at the night shelter and a couple of months later I was asked to be a Client Representative at the Hope Centre. I felt as if I was responsible for other people again and that helped me to cut down on the drinking a bit. In January 2011 the night shelter found me a flat and so I felt things were starting to look up. What has 2011 been like for you? Well it was better than 2010 but it’s still been really hard. Moving into my new place was good but I felt lonely because I was so used to being

As Julie’s’s story shows, homelessness can happen to anyone. It does not discriminate. To ensure we are here this Christmas and throughout the year to help people like Julie put their lives back together, please consider making a donation or setting up a regular donation... You can now donate online or by text at or text XMAS66 £amount to 70070


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look back

at the hope centre

January – In January volunteers braved the cold for The Hope Centre’s annual sleepout.

February – We had a Hollywood themed day with a red carpet, feather boas and plenty of fun and games.

March – We attended weekly outdoor activity sessions at the Frontier Centre.

April – Leah our Occupational Therapy student shared her skills with us.

May – Cookery group visited the butcher to learn how to make sausages.

June – Bananas paraded in the carnival to collect money for the Hope Centre.

July – Clients enjoyed a trip to the seaside.

August – Baking club decorated batches of cakes to sell at the umbrella fair.

September – Theatre thespians performed their play.

October – Pumpkin carving, a quiz and plenty of scary face painting for Halloween.

November – Online day, DWP volunteers were on hand to encourage people to improve their online internet skills.

December – We have plenty of Christmas festivities planned for this year. We intend on making decorations, crafts and gifts, a wii day, Christmas karaoke and more.

Christmas Oasis  

Northampton Hope Centre Christmas newsletter

Christmas Oasis  

Northampton Hope Centre Christmas newsletter