Hope Central, based in Handforth, is a Christian charity committed to bringing hope and relieving poverty in Cheshire East. It was formed by three churches working together to bring help and services to the local community, which they wouldn't have been able to provide independently of each other.
Individual churches in the local area had started similar offerings before, but the demands on people's time, resources and church finances meant that they weren't able to sustain their initiatives for very long. Although their initiatives came to an end, they had been able to accomplish some great work and importantly, demonstrated a need for something in the community to help those struggling with their finances, be a welcoming place where people can meet and form friendships, and help people to put decent food on the table.
VineLife Wilmslow, St Chad’s Handforth and St John’s Knutsford formed Hope Central back in 2019, pooling their efforts after recognising that it was beyond the scope of any single church to undertake the level of work and commitment required to provide a sustainable model that would, "Help people get back on their feet".
Four years later in 2023, Hope Central is still here, a thriving beacon of the community in the centre of Handforth, serving as a local meeting point for tea coffee and a chat, and providing a range of help and services including a Foodbank, a Job Club, Life Skills Course, and working closely with Christian Against Poverty, help with debt and personal finances.
The success of Hope Central has only been possible through multiple churches working together, not all Church of England, towards a common goal. Their work has touched many people's hearts and souls. Bea, who has been visiting Hope Central for six months, describes how her life has been transformed since she first walked through its doors, "I'm in such a better place now".
Hear more about Bea's story in the video below.
Find out more on the Hope Central Website