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Charity spotlight: Growing Hope’s story so far

Image showing Naomi from Growing Hope playing with child and family

Charity spotlight: Growing Hope’s story so far

Dr Naomi Graham is a children’s occupational therapist and the Founder & CEO of Growing Hope. The charity provides free therapy for children and young people with additional needs in partnership with local churches across the UK. In this blog, Naomi talks about Growing Hope’s journey so far, in the hope that it might be inspirational for other charities getting started or looking to grow.
I set up Growing Hope in December 2017 because I was convinced of the need. Time and time again families come to see us in clinic when they’ve been waiting for over two years for therapy. I also set up Growing Hope because I’m convinced that we can help – partnering with local churches enables us to reach communities and individuals who might otherwise still be waiting for support. For me, the opportunity to lead a Growing Hope clinic and then go on to become CEO of Growing Hope was a privilege. I was able to create a service which has supported many children, young people, and families. I have also been able to combine two things I’m passionate about – being an occupational therapist and sharing the hope I believe that Jesus brings.  
At the start of Growing Hope, I felt that God was asking me to set up not just one local charity but to create a national charity which would enable more local charities to be set up. This means that we set up Growing Hope National at the same time as Growing Hope King’s Cross. We have focused, right from the beginning, on creating a national charity which acts as a vehicle of support for each of our local clinics. The local clinics in King’s Cross, Brockley, High Wycombe and Gateshead benefit from day-to-day support from our national team. This ranges from bookkeeping and financial support, to coaching and training, and fundraising support and guidance. There are opportunities throughout the year to connect with other Clinic Managers who are in the same role leading this important work in other local churches across the UK. 
We’re reaching for more

Last year we supported over 500 children, young people, and parents. As we open our Gateshead clinic and partner with more churches in the future, we know the number of individuals receiving direct support will increase.
We have also seen a wide reach of support beyond our clinics through our When Dreams Change and Siblings Group courses. The courses are run by our therapists and trained facilitators, for parents, carers, and siblings within local communities. Our newly launched Accessibility Award aims to equip churches to become places of welcome where everyone is seen, heard and able to belong. 
Our vision is to have twenty clinics across the UK by 2030 and to equip hundreds of churches and community groups through our courses and awards. The support from Benefact Trust has helped us to work towards this vision, and I’m excited to see how the journey unfolds as we continue to bring hope to families across the UK.
In three months’ time we are hoping to have three new therapists joining Growing Hope local clinics. We have already recruited Sophie, an Occupational Therapist who is joining the High Wycombe team. We’re looking for two more therapists who feel called to lead a Growing Hope local clinic as Clinic Manager. There’s more information on our website with the details of the Clinic Manager job role.
Naomi Graham

Dr Naomi Graham

Founder and CEO of Growing Hope

I also set up Growing Hope because I’m convinced that we can help – partnering with local churches enables us to reach communities and individuals who might otherwise still be waiting.
Dr Naomi Graham

Children wearing life jackets sitting on a boat

Benefact Group's work

As a Trust, our ability to support and fund so many worthwhile causes, is made possible by the hard work of the award-winning specialist financial businesses that make up Benefact Group – which gives all its available profits to the Trust, sustaining our giving. As a part of the Benefact Group each business, whether it be in specialist insurance, investment management, broking or advisory shares the Trust’s ethos of giving back.