Hope 4 Rugby Ltd, the local charity working with the town’s growing numbers of homeless and badly housed people, has been awarded a Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities grant worth more than £300,000 over three years. This news was shared at the charity’s AGM held in the Hope Centre last week (Saturday 27th). Speaking of the award the Revd Dr Michael I Bochenski, who chairs the charity, said: “This is wonderful news. This Big Lottery Funding will enable us to appoint a Projects Manager to oversee the many projects, new and old, that the Hope Centre is committed to. It will also mean that we can appoint a practice nurse who will become a first point of basic health care contact for the Centre’s homeless guests. New training courses will also be gradually introduced for our service-users over the next three years”.
The AGM also appointed a new chairperson from April when the new charity year begins – Diana Mansell who currently heads up the charity’s Rugby Foodbank project. Mrs Mansell commented “ This is an exciting time to be assuming the chair of the charity. The Big Lottery grant will allow us to expand the much needed services we provide to so many people as well as bring financial stability. It’s a privilege to have been chosen to serve in this capacity alongside a very committed team of trustees and staff, and the huge army of faithful volunteers. We will also soon be employing a part time foodbank project manager as I move into my new role.”
“I can think of no-one better suited to take over this key leadership role than Diana”, said Dr Bochenski who has led the charity since 2009. “as well as her brilliant work in building up the Rugby Foodbank Diana has also served as trustee of Hope 4 Rugby, and is already very well connected with churches and community groups across the Borough”
The AGM also heard details of the growing demands the charity is having to respond to in the Centre, the Food Bank and at the Rugby Winter Shelter, which is currently in its seventh year of operating.
Bringing a greeting on behalf of the Borough Council the Mayor of Rugby Cllr Mrs Belinda Garcia said ” Rugby is a wonderful place where volunteers make such a difference to people’s lives. The 300 or so volunteers who help in all the work of Hope 4 Rugby make such a valuable contribution to some of our town’s most vulnerable people”.