A Bishopstoke and Fair Oak-based charity is on the look-out for a new home this Christmas after running out of space to store donated furniture and goods, and is asking local businesses for help.
The New Hope Project supports local families in need, supplying furniture and white goods, and helping vulnerable people with practical DIY tasks.
The Project was started to help victims of domestic violence and abuse, with 1 in 4 women a victim in their lifetime, with one incident reported to the police every minute in the UK.
Just in the last month, the charity helped a recently re-housed young mum with three small children, who had fled the family home with just the clothes on their backs and very little else.
The home that she was offered through a housing association was in poor condition, with no carpets, no kitchen appliances and a condemned boiler.
New Hope and its band of volunteers restored the house entirely within a week, supplying kitchen appliances, plumbing in the washing machine, connecting the cooker, and providing beds, wardrobes, sofas, and dining tables and chairs.
The young family is now safe, and settled in their newly furnished home.
Community Pastor Ian Hayes-Anderson, who heads up the project, said, “This young family will now not have a future dictated by the fear of violence within the home, and they know that there are people out there who really care and are prepared to make a difference.”
The charity has been doing such a good job that it’s running out of space to house all of the donated items, and is in desperate need of a new storage facility and extra space for its supplies.
The project currently has donated items stored at five garages dotted around the area, but is looking for help from local organisations and businesses to create one central ‘hub’ around Bishopstoke, Fair Oak, Eastleigh or Hedge End.
Many local businesses have already pitched in to help the New Hope Project, including SAS Electrical, and a van loaned by Paul Mockett, director of Hendy Hire and Logistics.
Ian is pictured here (middle left) at one of the charity’s garages with volunteer Nick Patterson (right), local MP Mike Thornton (left), and Emma Hall (middle right), a local mum who has been helped by the charity.
Ian said, "Our need is for a small light industrial unit or dry barn/storage area so that we can keep everything together in one place. At the moment we have five garages where we store donated items, and one of them leaks.
"We are so grateful to the local community for getting behind our appeal for much needed space. One larger storage facility of around 2000sq metres would allow the charity to help many more local people."
Local MP Mike Thornton, who is backing the New Hope appeal, said, "The New Hope and ARK projects are a credit to our community, helping out local families in often desperate situations.
"I want to urge local businesses and people who can help to get in touch with myself or Ian if you think you can assist with the charity’s storage problem.
"It could really make all the difference to many families’ Christmas this year."
If you can help, please visit http://www.newhopehampshire.org/page8/newhopeproject.html to find out more about the cause, or contact Ian on 07739 027709. You can also contact the project at New Hope Project, 8 Strawberry Mead, Fair Oak SO50 8RG.