Halton Housing has gifted a shop on a peppercorn rent to a thriving community support group.
Helping Ordinary People Everyday (HOPE), which originally started as a Facebook group, was set up to help those in need through generous donations to make a difference to members of the Halton community.
Thanks to the ongoing work of Halton Housing’s Customer Engagement Team, HOPE now have a shop for a small rent-charge providing a base to help support their activities.
The shop, based on Queens Avenue in Widnes, offers prom dresses and suits for hire for a small charge to school children, sixth form students and college students who otherwise couldn’t afford one. The shop also hires wedding and bridesmaid dresses.
All dresses are donated directly with many only worn once. They are checked and freshly laundered before each loan.
Jayne Caslin, one of the founding members of HOPE said: “With so many donations we were struggling for space. Thanks to Halton Housing we now have a base for our activities and can ensure we can continue to help and support even more members of the community.”
Debbie Jameson, Halton Housing community engagement officer said: “This is a fantastic project which Halton Housing are delighted to support by offering one of our shops on a peppercorn rent.
“Hopefully it will enable more teenagers to attend their prom, which has become an important milestone and part of finishing school”.
The new HOPE shop also received new flooring prior to its opening, courtesy of Halton Housing’s Helping Hands initiative.
HOPE works closely with the local Citizens Advice Bureau, Sure Start and other local agencies to help meet the practical needs of Halton families.
The new HOPE shop was officially opened by the Mayor of Halton on Saturday 4th May, just in time for prom season.