Home / Stories / Charity ‘funds hope’ with grant scheme to tackle homelessness
Hopestead event
The Hopestead team and representatives from partner charities came together for a workshop at Waterloo Park in Norwich

Almost 20,000 people across the East of England have so far been helped through a funding scheme set up to tackle homelessness.

Hopestead, Flagship Group’s homelessness charity, has provided more than £300,000 to charities in three rounds of grants since its ‘Hope Funds’ scheme was launched in 2021.

Representatives from 12 charities which launched projects six months ago thanks to round three funding came together at The Feed in Waterloo Park, Norwich, on March 20, 2024 to share their experiences and ideas.

Hopestead’s chief executive officer Marie-Claire Delbrouque said: “At Hopestead, we believe that everyone deserves a place to call home.

“We know that the journey towards ending homelessness is not an easy one, but we can make a difference by working together.

“That’s why events like this are so important. It’s a chance to build stronger partnerships, talk about the issues we’re facing and look for solutions.”

Participants at the workshop included the King’s Lynn Night Shelter, Norfolk Community Law Service, The Feed and Citizens Advice Bureau branches from Mid Suffolk and East Suffolk.

The Selig Suffolk Trust, the Ipswich Housing Association Group, the New Meaning Foundation, THIS (the Horticulture Industry Scheme) and YMCA Norfolk also took part.

From Hopestead are, from left, Danielle Green, Bethan Bishop, Marie-Claire Delbrouque and Sharon Wood.

Lucy McKitterick, director of the King’s Lynn Night Shelter, said Hope Funds had made a world of difference.

She said: “We have eight rooms accommodating people with quite high support needs, and we accommodated 24 people between the start of November last year and the end of February.

“I think all those people would have been without somewhere to stay if it hadn’t been for the night shelter.

“We are also the only place in King’s Lynn that has a 24/7 doorbell and we help people who come to the door at any time of day or night.

“Hopestead is one of the reasons why the night shelter is still open and the charity exists.

“Hopestead’s funding application process was smooth and easy, and we get the impression that they’re interested in our work, in creative thinking and finding new ways of doing things.”

Tim Melvin, general manager and co-founder of Thetford-based THIS, said: “We work with people who have had problems in the past and are at risk of homelessness. We give them experience and skills in gardening work and something for their CV, to help them move on to their next employment.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Hopestead. Without the support of Hope Funds, we just wouldn’t have been able to help as many people.”

A fourth round of Hope Funds is due to open for applications in summer 2024.