The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Growth, change and new house for Norwich charity 

The Norwich branch of Christian charity Hope Into Action is in its fifth year and are delighted to be opening their ninth house this month, this one is in partnership with Norwich Cathedral. The team is growing and there are current vacancies.

Hope Into Action (HIA) offer temporary, supported accommodation to the homeless and vulnerably housed. Tenants engage not only with their own 'empowerment worker' provided by HIA, but also get a beautifully furnished home and befrienders, thanks to a local church.

HIA mark success as getting church congregations 'out of the pews' and engaging in the lives of those often on the fringes of society. Tenants in turn feel loved and motivated to make positive changes in their lives.

Kate Doran-Smith (current Norwich Coordinator) said, "There's no denying the fact that more and more people in the U.K. are struggling. Whether it's the 100% increase in rough sleeping in Norfolk and Waveney in the past 5 years or the 6 million working households classed as JAM (just about managing) by Theresa May.”

After leading the local team for the last four years, Kate is moving on to a regional role within HIA. She remains committed to supporting vulnerable people. She said, “Support provided by churches and charities such as Hope Into Action must continue to increase to meet the demand and help those that are falling through the net and being failed by a system under strain. That's why I'm so honoured to be working in a growing and ever adapting Christian ministry such as ours.”

What started out as a service to ex offenders now houses those in recovery, those struggling with debt and health issues, people fleeing domestic violence, trafficking, prostitution and war zones. The charity has housed 75 people in Norwich and trained over 120 local Christians to support them.

Executive Director Ed Walker is delighted to see the progress Norwich has made. He said, "What started off as a crazy idea and one house in Peterborough back in 2010 has turned into over 50 houses over 15 towns and cities. God's blessing and favour shows no signs of slowing, so I'm delighted Kate is moving into a more senior role and passing on the baton in Norwich, we needed someone with calibre, empowering leadership-style, people and organisational skills.”

Applications are now being received for the Norwich Coordinator role, and additionally there is a new position as Church & Tenant Empowerment Worker, supporting two houses. Someone with expertise working with refugees would be particularly encouraged to apply.

HIACathedralvolunteersCFEmpowerment Worker Dani Horsfall said, "I love being an Empowerment Worker at HIA, it literally puts everything I believe about how we are called to serve, into action. There is no short term fix. It's offering opportunities for people to change the course of their life and we get the privilege of journeying with them. Both tenants and staff are holistically treated as individuals. HIA is a place to flourish both personally and professionally."

If you'd like to know more about the positions, details and application forms can be found here:

If you'd be interested in finding out more about Hope Into Action, or have a heart for supporting vulnerable people, you're welcome to attend the National Conference in Peterborough next month. Details and tickets available here: (contact the Norwich office in 01603 927271 if you'd like to car share to the conference)

Pictured above: HIA was awarded the Guardian Public Service Award for housing.
Pictured underneath: Cathedral volunteers were trained ready for the opening of the new house


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