About The Hope Centre
The Hope Centre was started in November 2007 by Sally Maclean and Geraldine Clark, members of Minehead Baptist Church. Sally and Geraldine began by engaging with a group who frequently used to spend their days in a local park, and over a period of time building up a rapport with them through offering hot meals and drink and listening to their needs and concerns.
From this The Hope Centre was born. The Hope Centre now uses the Baptist Church hall on a weekly basis. Volunteers give their time, offering hot meals, drinks, bathing and clothes washing facilities. We provide practical assistance to visitors to help them rebuild their lives and get them back on track. Through this work, a number of visitors have realised the negative effects of their past behaviour.
No one judges you for the mistakes you have made, simply, yesterday is past today is a gift.
A full range of support is offered, including making doctors’ appointments, speaking to housing officers or others on behalf of service users and sourcing clothing, furniture and household effects for those who have made a fresh start in accommodation of their own. Some visitors have been introduced to projects or courses designed to lift them out of their present situation and give them self-respect and purpose in life.
In addition, our volunteers also offer constructive activities, crafts, games or trips out and give advice and support.
In the years of operation on a Monday & Tuesday, we have been able to form relationships of trust and respect with our service users. We have noticed changes in their behaviour and self esteem. Some who just sat, now socialise and use the craft and games facilities. We have actively encouraged those who are looking for accommodation and jobs. Also some have made very positive changes in their lives and are reaping the benefits. The attendance of statutory bodies has generally enhanced our ability to offer help. Our vision is to equip our service users with life-changing skills.
The beneficial impact that The Hope Centre has had on the community of West Somerset in such a short space of time has been huge. Less police and criminal justice time is spent dealing with a circle of offending and an improved quality of life is now enjoyed by those making use of its compassionate and dedicated support. There has been a positive economic impact on the area and an improved quality of life is now enjoyed by those making use of its compassionate and dedicated support.