Easter message from our Chief Executive

I am writing to wish you a happy Easter and to thank you for supporting the Centre.

It is now just over a year since we all entered lockdown and I wrote to as the Centre drastically changed its operations. Despite the losses Covid-19 has meant for everyone, your generosity allows us to continue helping people escape extreme poverty and homelessness.

The pandemic has been particularly difficult for those on the margins. People on the lowest incomes, in insecure work, or living in inadequate accommodation are the worst impacted. Your faith in the Centre and our clients, should not be underestimated. Since last March you have helped the Centre support more than 1,070 people. I am proud of how the Centre has risen to the complex needs of those who came here seeking help.

Throughout the year we continued to provide a safe home for 37 young residents. As you’ll know from our hostel manager Glynn’s letter at Lent, even at the best of times it is not straightforward helping young people who are struggling. It is now more important than ever that we keep strengthening the support they receive.

The Cardinal Hume Centre is also one of the few places that kept its doors open to vulnerable families. We have remained on hand to some who faced lockdown in the most difficult of circumstances. For parents struggling with home-schooling, cut off from their usual resources, raising families in B&B bedrooms or one-room flats, with schools, nurseries, playgrounds and community centres closed, the opportunity to come to the Centre for advice, and for children to have space has been a lifeline.

We have moved to providing most advice online or over the phone, even if it means consultations or detailed legal work can take far longer. If necessary, we have also met clients face-to-face, with all the anxieties and stresses social distancing can bring. We are so grateful for the 2018 rebuild of the Centre – the new advice hub, play areas and garden have made meeting government guidelines achievable in ways that could not have been imagined.

It has been an exhausting and troubling year. The Centre’s team have worked hard and in many cases are tired and stretched. Arguably, the last 12 months have been the most challenging in the Centre’s history. Those who have been shielding in inadequate housing, have lost work, or are now trying to make a life on Universal Credit will, understandably, feel they face an uncertain future. It is the Centre’s role to remind each one they have value and real potential. It is because of the belief of our supporters in that work that I remain confident we will be there.

Together we can be strengthened by the Easter story and its message about how hope can follow despair. And we are asking our supporters, to help us insofar as you are able.

 

Here are two easy ways you can donate:

Donate here today

  • Or phone Emily and Cerian on our donations line: 020 7227 1650 – it might be busy, if you cannot get through please leave a message and they will get back to you promptly, or email and leave your details if you would like us to call you back.

Thank you for standing with us,

George O’Neill
Chief Executive