Paul was born in North Yorkshire and has been in Derby since the 90s when he began training in Allenton to become a Bank Manager. It was during that time he realized that many people in the City needed some support and he joined the Derby City Church.
In May 2011 the Hope Centre was opened by the Derby City Church in response to a growing need of support for the vulnerable and homeless community in Derby. They opened in premises opposite the church that had been derelict for several years. The center supports people in crisis including deprived young people, the elderly, low-income families, children, single parents, refugees and asylum seekers.
One of the growing services provided by the Hope Centre is the Food Bank. This service runs twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays, providing food parcels to individuals directed to them by over 40 support agencies throughout Derby. These agencies hand out vouchers to those assessed to be in desperate need of support which can then be exchanged for food parcels. The Centre receives non-perishable items from many sources including Greggs, the Co-op, local farmers and local groups
When the Food Bank was opened in 2011 they gave out around 400 parcels, last year it was 3,100 and so far this year they have given out 2,700. Paul said that if everyone in Derby donated just one tin there would be enough for all.
Paul covered the many situations that families find themselves in need of support and they also offer a listening head to the many with traumatic and emotional needs.
They rely on donations from the community to run the Food Bank and cannot express how much this support means to them and those in need.
In conclusion Paul said “We offer self-esteem, dignity in hope”