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The hard work and community service of homelessness charity Hopestead has won the praise of Suffolk’s High Sheriff.

Mark Pendlington presented Hopestead’s chief executive officer, Marie-Claire Delbrouque, with a ‘certificate of gratitude and recognition’ at The Royal Oak – Emmaus Suffolk ’s community café in Ipswich.

Ms Delbrouque said she was delighted with the honour.

The certificate of gratitude and recognition presented to Hopestead.

She said: “We set up Hopestead with the goal of ending homelessness in the east of England and helping as many people as possible in the communities we serve.

“This certificate is fantastic recognition of the hard work and dedication of Hopestead’s team, and the difference they have already made to so many people.”

Mr Pendlington, who is also a Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk, said he wanted to congratulate Hopestead for providing a lifeline to individuals and organisations.

He said: “Hopestead is an amazing example of what can be achieved by people with compassion, ideas and energy who work tirelessly to target help and support to those who need it the most.

“It also demonstrates how support from business can provide much-needed resources to drive change and make a positive difference to local communities.”

Hopestead was launched in 2020 as a part of housing provider Flagship Group.

Its initiatives include Hope at Home, which has helped hundreds of people across the east of England who are going into social housing from a background of homelessness.

They are provided with the furniture, appliances, flooring and other items they need to turn their houses into homes.

Hopestead’s Building Hope initiative aims to increase the number of homes and bed spaces available to those experiencing homelessness.

This has included launching Hopestead Place in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, with partners Emmaus Suffolk and New Meaning Foundation, in October 2023.

Suffolk’s High Sheriff, Mark Pendlington, presents a certificate of gratitude and recognition to Hopestead’s chief executive Marie-Claire Delbrouque and Martin Royal at the Royal Oak community cafe in Ipswich.

This £220,000 modular home complex is aimed at helping people who have come from a route of homelessness secure employment and prepare for independent living.

Another Hopestead programme, Hope Funds, has provided funding to charities including Emmaus Suffolk, Ipswich Family Bank and Citizens Advice East Suffolk.

Ms Delbrouque said: “We aim to help other charities across the region do more of what they do best, and pilot new ways of working.”

To find out more about Hopestead, visit www.hopestead.org