Published: 16 March 2022

Hope Foundation Andrew Craddock Sue Kearney Nicky DonaghueThe Hope Foundation applied to Darlington Building Society’s 5% Pledge and received £11,000 to help deliver its isolation reducing services.

The Middlesbrough-based charity acts as a lifeline to hundreds of local people and provides a raft of services across Teesside.

Sue Kearney, chief executive of The Hope Foundation, said: “I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Darlington Building Society. Contributions like this make all the difference to how we are able to serve the community.

“Our mission is to reduce loneliness and isolation for people living in Middlesbrough, but we’ve always been a flexible organisation. We identify a need in our local community, and we address that.

“For example, we recently became a drop-off point for local businesses to donate old computers and mobile devices. We were then able to set up a job club to help people find work. We also donated 20 laptops to James Cook University Hospital’s paediatric diabetes unit. Now those laptops are helping diabetic children manage their insulin levels more easily.”

Services for everyone

The Hope Foundation runs a record club, coffee mornings, a cybercafé, a quiz night and friendship groups. The charity’s Tea and Technology drop-in sessions help people to use their electronic devices.

Local resident Paul Ogleby started attending the cybercafé in 2003, using the computers to search for work. He is now retired but still attends most weeks for a cuppa, a chat, and to use the computers – only now he mostly uses them to play video games.

He said: “The Hope Foundation changed my life. It’s all about friendship, companionship, and meeting new faces. It’s just a wonderful place to come to.”

Andrew Craddock, Darlington Building Society Chief Executive, visited the Hope Foundation with branch manager Nicola Donaghue, to see the good work first-hand.

He said: “I’ve been blown away by the range of activities The Hope Foundation delivers to the local area. It’s fantastic the way they reach into so many different parts of the community and address so many needs.

“I’m proud that Darlington Building Society is able to support the good work that The Hope Foundation is doing.”

Nicola added: “It’s one thing to hear or read about the fantastic support The Hope Foundation is providing to the Community. But to actually see it in action is something else entirely. We’ve really enjoyed visiting, and we look forward to continuing to support this incredible charity.

“We’ve already got staff signed up to volunteer at the ‘Tea and Tech’ classes as well as the jewellery making workshops.”

The Hope foundation is open Monday to Friday. For more information on the activities it offers, or how to support its work, visit the Hope Foundation’s website.

To find out more about Darlington Building Society’s 5% Pledge please visit our community page.