Spring of Hope appeal

What has been happening at Spring of Hope.

This October, Spring of Hope is 10 years old! Over the last 10 years, the shelter has provided over 12,000 bed nights for hundreds of women in Bristol, offering them a place of refuge and safety. This was what one women had to say about her stay.

“Something clicked with me there. I just found it safe to stay; welcome and clean; a warm place to be. The staff and volunteers were really supportive to me. I felt a connection there.”

Since March 2020, Spring of Hope has not been able to provide overnight accommodation due to government guidance that communal shelters should close. 

However, the need for safe, women-only accommodation remains.*

– In Bristol, the rate of domestic abuse incidents has increased since 2019. 33% of homeless women said that their domestic abuse led to them becoming homeless.

– Homeless women tend to rely on informal, hidden arrangements to avoid rough sleeping – arrangements that can place them in danger.

– The average life expectancy for a woman who sleeps rough is 43.

The rebirth of Spring of Hope!

We are hoping to re-open Spring of Hope as a 24/7 women-only, supported household model. 

To enable this to happen, Spring of Hope needs an increase in resources – growing to a large team of staff and 50 volunteers, with extra training, additional DBS costs, more food and practical supplies needed.

The house will provide a place of safety for homeless women and will be the first step along their housing journey. Alongside professional services (e.g. Social Services, Healthcare, Housing) who have referred the women, Spring of Hope staff and volunteers will support service users to develop life skills, gain confidence, and build self-esteem.

Each woman will have a care plan with the objective of supporting her into long-term accommodation. Spring of Hope staff will advocate for women, as they move through their care plan, ensuring that they gain the support they need to move into a long-term home. 

We asked Val, Spring of Hope manager, what opening up will mean.

What are you looking forward to in opening a 24/7 model? 

“That the women won’t need to leave the building at 8am, but they’ll have somewhere to stay all day. We’re entering into an exciting season where Spring of Hope will have the opportunity to give a more focussed support to the women coming through the doors, who have other issues that are linked to their homelessness.”

What will you be able to do that you wouldn’t have been able to with the previous night shelter model? 

“Journey with the women out of homelessness, supporting them with their care plan, hopes and aspirations.”

What difference is it going to make to women in Bristol? 

“They’ll be entering into a safe and stable environment, where they’ll have the opportunity to be supported in a house with experienced staff and trained volunteers in preparation for their sustainable move-on.”

This will not happen without your help: fundraising and volunteers.

Spring of Hope can only provide the vital help for homeless women in Bristol with support from our family of churches and Christians across the city.

Opening with a 24-7 model brings additional costs – and an extra £20,000 ** is needed within this financial year to kit-out the house and for additional staffing costs. Our desire is to re-open in time for winter, so that women have a warm and safe place to start to re-build their lives. 

As a celebration of Spring of Hope reaching the milestone birthday of 10 years old, we’re asking supporters to fundraise towards the re-opening, by doing an activity linked to the number 10! 

Why not:

  • Hold a coffee morning for 10 people,
  • Sleep out for 10 hours as part of the Bristol Sleepout on 8th October (Sign up here),
  • Run the Bristol 10k on Sunday 19th September. Register here www.greatrun.org/events/great-bristol-run/ and then create your own JustGiving page.
  • Give something up for 10 days,
  • Do something new for 10 days. 

You can start your fundraising on our JustGiving appeal page here. If you wish to donate money and not fundraise, you can also do that via the JustGiving appeal page.

Even with the money raised, the 24/7 model will only be possible if we can recruit new staff and 50 practicing Christian, female volunteers.

Volunteer roles will involve walking alongside the women during the day (either 4, 5, or 8 hour shifts) assisting them to regain confidence in developing life skills such as laundry, cooking, cleaning and engaging with wellbeing activities. Spring of Hope is run by female staff and volunteers and staff who share in and are practicing the Christian faith. Induction, training, and a basic DBS check will be carried out for the roles.

Maintenance Volunteers

We have an immediate need to help prepare the Spring of Hope building for re-opening. This will involve painting, moving furniture and small DIY tasks.

Get in touch with Amelia if you are interested in finding out more: [email protected].

Get involved: you can help provide a place of safety for women experiencing homelessness, addiction, and abuse in Bristol.

*data taken from Crisis / Bristol City Council Health and Wellbeing ReportBristol City Council Reducing Rough Sleeping Report / St Mungo’s Women and Rough Sleeping Report

** any funds raised beyond £20,000 will be used in the continued running of Spring of Hope.