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Hope as a place of learning

Hope does not just provide services to people in need. We are a hub to expand, gather and promote learning and knowledge, for our service users, for students in training and others.

In our work with those who use our services we do much more than giving food and clothes: we change lives through learning and skills, including offering accredited and other courses to get people into work, into such areas as catering and horticulture. We help people become advocates for themselves, through learning how to campaign. Through our training for our service users, we also provide them will skills and knowledge, confidence and communication skills. We help service users to have confidence and assertiveness in asking for what they are entitled to and to stand up to the injustice they experience – learning is embedded in work with our customers!

Our service delivery is informed by evidence and is the product of regular, ongoing scanning of research and evidence-based practice.

Hope teaches in schools about homelessness and poverty, and to all ages. This can include talks during harvest festival, but also as part of courses. Contact us if you want us to work with your students. All staff are DBS screened.

Students in higher education

Hope offers placement experience to vocational  students who will work in settings like ours, including the disciplines of social work, occupational therapy, youth work, social care, public health and healthcare therapies. We offer a learning environment that offers exposure to the theory as well as the practice that underpins our work, with available literature and resources to guide students to understand the context in which our work occurs. This includes both an on-site hard copy library, access to web-based resources and prepared, digested reading lists.

We advise and support students in other disciplines too, such as marketing, business studies, social enterprise, journalism, and many more, offering opportunities for learning practice, supporting the student and Hope’s work. We work with creative arts students on projects involving theatre, creative writing, graphic design, photography, music and other disciplines to create work addressing these issues.

Students should look out for opportunities through their course organisers, or just ask to come to Hope. Contact us to discuss placements or projects or to see if Hope will be right for you.


Hope welcomes opportunities for academics and institutions to conduct research in any relevant discipline. We have hosted major studies from Russell Group and other Universities, including Northampton.

One study in 2019 reviewed the impact of vaping as an alternative to smoking for our service users, helping them reduce their smoking behaviour and imapct on their health. It made an impact on their health. Read a research report here: HERE

Dawkins L, Bauld L, Ford A, Robson D, Hajek P, Parrott S, et al. (2020) A cluster feasibility trial to explore the uptake and use of e-cigarettes versus usual care offered to smokers attending homeless centres in Great Britain. PLoS ONE 15(10): e0240968. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0240968

Watch a film about this work here

Simmi’s Story

Read about her work placement at Hope here

Courses for all

We run occasional courses open to anyone looking to grow their skills in community work, poverty and homelessness.

This included a Community Organising course in  October 2018

We teach on academic and vocational courses at the University of Northampton and welcome invitations to teach.

Reading lists and references for researchers about  on homelessness poverty and social enterprise

Reading list on  social housing

Reading list on Social and community work


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