CAP Life Skills living on a low income FREE course is back

CAP Life Skills is a friendly group that will give you the confidence and decision-making skills needed to live on a low income. Over six weeks, you’ll learn practical money saving techniques, such as cooking on a budget and making money go further.

If you want to stay on top of your household bills, see your money go further, eat well on a budget, grow in self-confidence or improve your relationships then CAP Life Skills is for you!

Alongside like-minded people in a relaxed and fun environment, you’ll discover real ways to save time, money and hassle in your day-to-day life and learn practical skills from our trained coaches.

CAP Life Skills is also a great way to find community and gives you a chance to spend a few weeks getting to know others as you discuss the various aspects of this course together.

📅 After a successful first course, Christians Against Poverty will be start their next CAP Life Skills Course on Thursday 1st February at The Hope Foundation..

📞 Contact us on 01642 232220 or to sign up.

Christmas dinner

🎄🍽️ Christmas Dinners from Mon 18th Dec to Wed 20th Dec

We will be serving Christmas dinners in The Hope Foundation cafe from Monday 18th December to Wednesday 20th December.

We’d like to thank Womble Bond Dickinson who have kindly funded the Christmas dinners for our learners and people who use our centre.

The normal menu will not be available at this time.


Margaret had been involved with Ageing Better Middlesbrough for a few years, when the first lockdown hit. She had lost two friends to cancer and has problems with anti-social behaviour where she lives and her mental health was suffering.

She received befriending calls from Hope’s Wellbeing team. These were a lifeline for her as “ The calls helped me and kept me level, I don’t know what I would have done without them. When the lockdown eased a bit I met up with Linda for a coffee. I find it difficult to get up on a morning and get ready, meeting her gave me a purpose, something to do and to get to.”

Since then, Margaret has joined in with our picnics, coffee mornings, cookery sessions, drop-ins and visits to the seaside. Her mobility has suffered during the lockdown months but she is now getting out and is determined to keep going. She has also made a friend through group meetings. The Wellbeing Service has helped Margaret start getting out of the house after lockdown. Being with others has given her a new focus and has helped to improve her mental health.

Barbara and Jeanette

At the beginning of the first lockdown, ABM asked for volunteers to help provide technical support over the phone for older people in the area.

Fast forward and they now have 14 volunteers. One of the first to respond was Jeanette Power Jepson who had previously attended Tea and Tech at the Hope Foundation.
“Given that Ageing Better Middlesbrough has helped me achieve certain goals, I felt like I wanted to help others who were in my position.

David initially taught me how to shop online, use WhatsApp, surf the web, and generally become more up to speed with my device, so I really felt like I could help those who needed it.
The framework they provided was great too. It was very well structured, and I knew I was in a good position to pick up the phone and begin talking.”

For many ABM members, becoming part of the digital world is daunting and providing digital support during the Covid pandemic has been even more challenging for the team, but also really important:
“Giving information and digital support for people who had to stay home was vital. Many of them are worried, which only heightens their fear of having to use technology. It’s a domino effect…

I’ve helped people with doctor’s appointments, downloading games, WhatsApp, sending photos and emails, video calling and lots more. Once these steps are complete, you feel a huge sense of pride. Their reaction over the phone (when they complete various tasks), is fantastic.”

Barbara Gibbon’s story

73-year-old Barbara Gibbon is just one of the people who has benefitted from Ageing Better Middlesbrough’s digital volunteer initiative. She has received help from Jeanette (above) over the last few months and believes she has come on leaps and bounds.

“Initially I got a call from Ageing Better Middlesbrough’s Befriending Service to see how I was. I happened to mention that I struggled with technology during the call.

Their Digital Inclusion Officer, David, gave me help with online shopping, and after that, Jeanette has helped me with lots of other things.

To my amazement, I was able to send photos to my granddaughter who lives in Manchester… I even video called her! I think she was just as surprised as me when she saw the phone ringing.

I’m hoping to learn a lot more from Jeanette in the future, she’s been a saviour for me over the last couple of months. I’m also going to meet the team in person to thank them, and hopefully attend ‘Tea and Technology’ sessions.

The fact that Ageing Better Middlesbrough are providing an outlet like this is brilliant. I really appreciate their efforts. It’s given me a new lease of life and I’d be completely stuck without them. My daughter is less worried knowing I can video call her now too.”


Frank Savvery was supported during lockdown by the ABM Telephone Befriending Service.

This service was a huge support for Frank during such a difficult time; at a period in his life where he felt, lonely and was struggling with past trauma that caused frequent night terrors. Talking to a dedicated befriender helped ease his anxiety.

Frank had accessed local community initiatives and access support through ABM Digital Inclusion Team and agreed to transfer to Older Peoples Wellbeing Support Service in April 2021.

Digital Inclusion has provided Frank with an iPad and support to set up a personal email and online contact with his GP and health services. This has proved invaluable, as now Frank is able to arrange his own prescriptions and delivery of medication.

The surgery had changed the process of ordering a repeat prescription and before he received support from Digital Inclusion, Frank was unable to order his medication over email and was not receiving his medication on time.
During periods of ill health, Frank was unable to walk to the surgery to arrange his prescriptions and unable to collect from the pharmacy. This meant he could not take his prescribed medication and was at risk of seizures.

The Older Peoples Wellbeing Project has introduced Frank to Middlesbrough Environmental City Allotment project at Jellystone Grove Hill in Middlesbrough. He has been busy tending to the land and has planted vegetables that he is hoping to use to prepare nutritious meals when the produce is ready to harvest.

The sessions at Jellystone have facilitated opportunities for Frank to socially connect with other people and also an opportunity for Frank to continue as a volunteer when The Wellbeing Service ends in March 2022.
Frank is now attending other well-being sessions during the week that include Woodside Wellbeing Hub and outings that have been arranged with the service.

Frank has grown in confidence over the months and is less anxious within a larger group setting. He recently sent the following message:

‘Thank you if hadn’t been through you and The Hope Foundation I will probably be the same but use have brought me out of my shell and I thank everyone for doing this’


Neil* (not his real name)

Neil heard about the Hope Foundation from Saint John of God. He had to move to Middlesbrough during the covid pandemic and found himself isolated in a new place.

He came to The Hope Foundation wanting to gain qualifications, find our about volunteering opportunities and get connected. He says, “The conversation with Kim was so much more. We talked about my long term and future goals in football coaching and Kim gave advice and guidance on the different sectors that this opens for me such as supporting others in difficult situations using sport. We started with Kim completing a CV to apply for voluntary positions and introducing me to MFC Foundation a support organisation for people like myself to make new contacts through sport. We also talked about entry requirements that employers would be looking for as well as experience and I now know the steps and links to be made to achieve this.

Kim referred me to the Hope Digital Library as I had expressed motivation and interest to learn but I only have a mobile phone device. David dropped off a laptop.

The Hope Foundation has made a big difference to my mental health; connecting me to my goals by informing me of the opportunities available in the Middlesbrough area. I moved to the area around September last year and because of lockdown felt excluded being in a new town and not knowing the services available. The Hope Foundation has help me to understand the steps I need to take to get there and feel more positive about my future and how I can progress.”

Neil went on to study for qualifications with Hope and now volunteers in a community football session and is working towards an FA Playmaker Award with MFC Foundation.