The Good Shepherd are delighted to announce that they have now bought their premises on Waterloo Road as well as the building next door with the aim of safeguarding the charity’s future and providing more services for the people of Wolverhampton.
With thanks to a £275,000 grant from the Eveson Charitable Trust, generous fundraising from the community of Wolverhampton, and an interest-free loan from St John of God Hospitaller Services, the Good Shepherd has purchased both 63 and 65 Waterloo Road for the total sum of £600,000.
The charity, supporting the homeless and vulnerable in Wolverhampton, had been renting number 65 Waterloo Road but now owns number 63 as well, allowing it to shape a longer-term strategy to provide a variety of support services for people from across the city.
“When we first took on the lease for 65 Waterloo Road, we set ourselves the target of trying to purchase the complete building within five years,” says Tom Hayden, Head of Operations at the Good Shepherd.
“We have managed to achieve that target within two years, which will safeguard the charity’s future and allow us more flexibility to ensure our food and support services are providing help to the community where they need it most.
“We are hugely grateful to the Eveson Charitable Trust for continuing to put their faith in us with such a generous grant, and St John of God for offering us an interest-free loan which helped us reach this position.
“A huge thank you must also go to members of the public, local businesses, faith groups and other funders whose continuing support for the Good Shepherd, even during the pandemic, has helped us push forward and work with so many other charities and agencies across the city to make a really positive difference to the people of Wolverhampton.
“Our food service is probably how we are most well-known and will continue to be the foundation of the charity.
“But the Good Shepherd is now about so much more, delivering a vast range of support such as our Housing First programme, a New Start project for ex-offenders, a Supported Lettings Scheme with private landlords, our meaningful activity programme which promotes positive mental health and wellbeing, budgeting advice, a counselling service and help with addiction.
“Many of our services have been extremely busy during the pandemic, which is set to continue, and so owning the building will provide more options and flexibility moving forward, whether by welcoming more charities and agencies in to work with us or renting some of the space for businesses seeking a base in the City Centre.”
The Brothers of the Good Shepherd first started helping the homeless and vulnerable from Wolverhampton back in 1972 – next year marks the 50th anniversary – whilst the charity in its current form was set up in 2003 and based at Darlington Street Methodist Church.
The move to Waterloo Road at the start of 2020 was designed to produce a more purpose-built facility and help the Good Shepherd welcome in other charities and agencies to act as a hub and provide wraparound support services to people who often have a complex range of needs.
Helen Holloway, Admin & Finance Manager at the Good Shepherd, has been involved with the charity for many years, initially as a volunteer.
“The impact of the charity is growing year upon year and it is thanks to all our funders and support from the community that we are able to help more and more people,” she says.
“The Good Shepherd is part of – and always will be – a real team effort where we are keen to work together to ensure that, as a city, we are able to provide support in so many different ways and give those who need us hope and optimism for a brighter future.”
Claire Bowry, Chief Executive of the Eveson Charitable Trust, visited the charity in early 2020 to meet the team and see the potential for the building.
Claire says: “The trustees of the Eveson Charitable Trust are delighted that their grant has contributed to the funds necessary to secure a base for Good Shepherd Services that will allow them to develop their vision of integrated support for the homeless and vulnerable in Wolverhampton.
“We look forward to seeing how the services develop over the years to come.”
All at the Good Shepherd would additionally like to thank our partners within the city and the generosity within the community for continuing to show us great support as we work together to the benefit of the most vulnerable in our society.