The charity started some years ago when it was noticed that there were a number of families in the Coventry area who were experiencing real poverty and lacking the most basic personal and household facilities. Most of these were asylum seekers, refugees or recently arrived Eastern European migrants (primarily Roma, fleeing persecution).
We started by preparing and handing out carrier bags of ‘useful things’ and also encouraging friends and supporters, mainly from the local churches, to join in and help provide them.
The size of the problem quickly became apparent and we soon moved to having an open morning in a church hall where these families could come and receive a welcome. At the same time they could be offered support, refreshments and also have opportunity to collect items of food and clothing that had been donated.
In June 2012 we outgrew that church hall and now use our current venue Hillfields Evangelical Baptist Church. We also have a warehouse 2 miles away as a furniture store.
Our average weekly attendance at Circle of Friends has continued to increase with new families coming every week. We don’t advertise our services. people hear about us and just come. We currently have over 980 members registered with our service. Since Carriers of Hope was established we have worked with families from over 50 different countries, with the majority of new families coming from Romania.