Handcrafted Projects, County Durham
In 2021, Handcrafted Projects saw more people engage with the organisation than ever, with the support of £30,000 Hope Beyond funding from Benefact Trust. The charity’s goal was to bring vulnerable, isolated people together through its Creative Communities programme, helping them to gain new skills in a supportive and safe environment.
The grant has enabled the charity to diversify and engage with people facing significant barriers to support. Handcrafted Projects now runs Women’s group in all three of its hubs, with specialist support for women who have experienced domestic abuse and addiction – issues which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. In addition, the charity has started new groups for young people as well as expanding its activity base for those struggling to engage with its existing projects.
“I was in a very dark place. I live away from my family, I have no friends and got very lonely. This was all exaggerated by Covid-19, and the restrictions we have had throughout the year. In December 2020 when having a very low moment, even planning on taking my own life, I remembered a charity I contacted whilst in jail and I decided to reach out. Junction42 were very supportive and very quickly put me in contact with Handcrafted.
“Working with both of these charities has been a huge turning point in my life. Junction42 have really helped with job prospects which has given me hope to move on in my future, and Handcrafted has really changed my life in the here and now.”
Oasis Community Partnerships Family Resilience Project, London
A £7,500 Hope Beyond grant was awarded to Oasis Community Partnerships to support at least 100 vulnerable families across its four community hubs to access food, pastoral care, financial advice, and mental health support. Over the course of the six month project, a staggering 814 families received support in some form or another.
Oasis provided lots of digital activity sessions which supported health and wellbeing, running 106 sessions and delivering 586 activity packs. But by far the biggest shift in activity was the provision of food. The organisation created new partnerships and sought additional funding which enabled Oasis to increase its provision to 9,121 food parcels and 2,902 cooked meals during the six month period.
Turning Tides Homelessness, West Sussex
A £17,000 Hope Beyond grant from the Trust helped Turning Tides to employ a Digital Inclusion Coordinator to provide digital support for people experiencing homelessness. The support enabled vulnerable people to access help and advice during lockdown, but also gave them the opportunity to work on their digital literacy to help them progress and move on from homelessness.
With the support of the funding, Turning Tides reduced isolation through its digital befriending service, gave clients access to digital devices such as mobile phones and tablets, and created digital drop in sessions offering support in small groups.
One client said:“Without Turning Tides I would be sleeping on a bench somewhere and now with these computers, it’s perfect! I can now find work, I have a CV!”
The Hope Beyond programme is now closed, but you can find more information about Benefact Trust’s other grants programmes.