‘But I think the most important thing it’s, it’s very safe. So, when I go to bed I don’t shake, I’m not scared to think of what’s going to happen. Is it going to be noisy tonight or not? It’s like a family…I just feel I am a member of their family because they care.’ Guest quote, Where will I live Report (2022)
I first met Jared and Helen when I was working with Unseen, they approached us with the idea of hosting survivors in people’s homes – they went away, tried and tested the approach, learnt about the challenges, rejoiced in the successes and were frustrated by the systemic barriers they saw and the impact this had on survivors.
A year later they were back with first hand experience of what might work and ready and willing to start on a journey that they hoped would offer survivors of modern slavery safe homes once government funded support had stopped.
Over the years I have continued to be impressed by their tenacity, belief in what they are doing, their passion to see change and their willingness to roll their sleeves up and get involved – without them Hope at Home, the provision of 8,000 nights of safe homes and the accommodation of 53 guests would not have come to fruition.
After five years on the Board at Hope at Home and three serving as the Chair of Trustees the time has come to hand over the reins. This is not a decision that has been made lightly and working alongside the Board and Senior Team we have spent the last year planning and preparing for this transition.
I am excited to pass the mantle on to Steve Watson – Steve has spent the last five years working in the modern slavery sector and has recently started a new role with Framework as their Homelessness Director. His experience and his expertise across the modern slavery, housing and homelessness sectors will offer Hope at Home the leadership and insights needed for the coming years.
Hope at Home has always been an ambitious organisation and having been involved in the development of the new three-year strategy this doesn’t look set to change – it is an organisation full of dedicated individuals who are focussed on their mission of providing safe homes for survivors of modern slavery, who are continuously thinking about how to collaborate, what the evidence and data is telling them and working out how to offer suitable alternatives to ensure that survivors are not left without support and safe accommodation options.
The work the organisation does is only possible because of the passionate and trained host families who open their homes and welcome survivors – I am incredibly grateful for your commitment and all you do to help us achieve our mission, thank you. My thanks also go to the individuals, organisations and trusts who have committed to funding the work Hope at Home does, again your support is vital as the organisation develops, grows, and embarks on new projects.
To those of you wondering how you can you support Hope at Home in the future can I encourage you to consider sponsoring a room, running an event or even opening your home to a survivor…Check out all these ideas and more on the website.
It has been a privilege to serve on and lead the Board for Hope at Home. I am proud of all that the team, the hosts and the trustees have achieved over the last five years that I have been involved and I am excited to see what is in store over the years to come.