This spring’s fundraiser in aid of Partington’s Hope Centre
We set ourselves a target of £2,000 for our Lockdown Project in aid of the Hope Centre in Partington. In the end we raised £5,475, including Gift Aid. We sent £3,000 to Partington on 24 February by way of an interim distribution and the balance of £2,475 was transferred on 27 April. This is a tremendous result. Thanks to everyone who contributed. The Hope Centre is a lifeline to residents in one of the poorest parishes in our Diocese, and is supporting 100 families a week with food parcels. We committed to fund the £5 fresh food element in each parcel every week for a month, but we were able to extend this to almost three months.
Do read on for more information about the invaluable work that The Hope Centre in Partington does:
Partington is only five miles from Hale, but it could be a world away. One of the poorest areas of Greater Manchester, its levels of long-term unemployment and deprivation were high before the pandemic hit. But since then things have got worse.
Volunteers at The Hope Centre, based at The Hideaway community hub in the shopping centre, are making a difference. The Centre supports local people with everything from food and help with energy bills to literacy education and advice, including debt counselling. In early 2020, The Hope Centre was supporting 10 families each week with free food parcels. Since Christmas 2020, that has risen to 100 families.
For each £20 food parcel, £15 of store cupboard staples are generally donated, either by individuals direct or through supermarkets. But it’s The Hope Centre that purchases the crucial fresh food – milk, bread, eggs and sausages – at a cost of £5 per parcel. That cost has to be covered through monetary donations.
To provide fresh, nutritious basics for 100 families, at £5 a family, costs The Hope Centre £500 a week.
There are plenty of other ways The Hope Centre can use our donations, in one of the poorest parishes in our Diocese. Help is never given as cash but only as food or energy vouchers; utility top-ups are made on behalf of residents, some of whom are trying to survive on as little as £30 a week from benefits while paying back old debts. (If you’re at the bottom of a hole it can be staggeringly difficult to pull yourself out of it.)