A South Yorkshire charity which has been helping people touched by trauma for more than a decade has officially launched.
HOPE has acted as a peer support network for people who have lost loved ones in fires, road traffic collisions or other tragedies since 2006.
Now it has achieved charitable status and it launched the latest chapter of its story in front of volunteers, beneficiaries and dignitaries including HM Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire and all four South Yorkshire Mayors.
The event, hosted at Irwin Mitchell’s headquarters at Riverside House, Sheffield, heard emotional stories from many of the people HOPE has supported.
HOPE Charity, which is supported by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, now wants to put its skills towards helping to prevent emergency incidents from happening in the first place.
It has already been commissioned to deliver road safety education packages to schools by the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership and its volunteers are beginning to carry out home safety checks on behalf of the fire service.
HOPE Charity’s Business Development Manager Mary-Ann Quinn, said: “This event marked an exciting new chapter in our history, as well as reflecting upon our achievements over the last decade and more. We will continue to provide the peer support which our members value so much, but also believe that achieving charity status will broaden the range of support and services we are able to deliver. It’s been a real team effort to get this far and long may it continue.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer and HOPE trustee Martin Blunden, said: “There is a natural synergy between the work HOPE Charity has been doing over a number of years to support people touched by tragedy, and the work that we do as a fire and rescue service to prevent emergencies in the first place.
“We recently published plans which set out our vision for how we will make local people safer. The aspiration we set out was to spread our resources much further by working with other agencies to meet the growing demand for preventative interventions. We believe HOPE, and other charities and community organisations like them, will continue to be important partners of ours in delivering this aim.”
Irwin Mitchell: Joanne Witherington, solicitor at Irwin Mitchell said: “We are committed to supporting the valuable work of HOPE across South Yorkshire and we were incredibly proud to host their launch reception at our Sheffield office. It was a wonderful event and hearing first-hand accounts of how the charity’s services have helped families at such a difficult time in their lives highlighted, even more greatly, the importance of HOPE’s work.”
Last year HOPE was given the Duke of York’s Community Initiative Award. This is a Royal award presented to community projects based in Yorkshire which are owned, developed and led by the people they serve.
To find out more about the charity, visit its new website created by Millgate Connect, at www.hope-sy.co.uk