Its been a busy time at Hope. Since Christmas we have worked flat out, as we largely do all year, to raise the funds needed to keep Hope alive. The main focus, as every year, is our Big Sleepout which we held at Abington Park, around the Mayor’s Cafe, on 1st Feb.

The event was a fantastic success with 50% more people taking part than ever before, plus 120 scouts in a separate event, all sleeping in below zero temperatures (lower than the MET office forecast). It was touch and go whether we proceeded but we took advice, gave clear guidance, had first aiders present and kept everyone safe, with Tony Ansell’s cafe warming people up with hot drinks and food. Please make sure you make your donations and support the fantastic people who came along to raise money and show solidarity with homeless people.

Thanks too to all those in the Hope family who came to volunteer and help.

You can see media coverage of the Big Sleepout from ITV here

This highlights what I really wanted to say. Yes, of course, six days a week we help homeless people and others in need with vital services. That’s the central purpose of Hope. But Hope is so much more. We hold loads of events and provide opportunities for ordinary people, companies, community groups, schools, students and churches to get involved, make art and experience culture, volunteer and be part of the community. We are a community development charity: we build community, we instil charitable and caring qualities, we educate, we inspire. The Hope family, hundreds if not thousands strong, is what Hope is about. Northampton as a whole benefits from Hope, alongside people in need. Its all of this that will go if Hope does not survive.

On that score we hope to make an announcement shortly – watch this space