Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, has been named as a new Patron of the Northampton Hope Centre – a charity for the homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged. Professor Petford is the latest person to take up the post, alongside Earl Spencer, the Bishop of Northampton, Sally Keeble and David Macintosh MP.
This honorary post is in recognition of the widespread support that University staff and students give the Hope Centre and its social enterprise trading arm Hope Enterprises. The University of Northampton has several faculty members acting as trustees, and the partnership has led to fundraising support, student volunteering initiatives, and many internships and placements for students from both the School of Health and the Business School.
The Hope Centre deals with people at the margins of society with complex needs. They suffer from learning difficulties, substance abuse and mental health issues and in many cases abusive parents. As Chair of the Northamptonshire Health and Wellbeing Board Prof Petford will help the Centre to access key health networks and commissioners.
Professor Petford commented: “I am really excited to become a Patron of such an important local charity. The Northampton Hope Centre is a great example of how social impact brings communities together, to help tackle society’s most important issues. I am proud that the University of Northampton is leading the way in making a difference to the community we live in.”
Adrian Pryce, Senior Lecturer in Northampton Business School, is also the current Chair of the Hope Centre. He explained: “Professor Petford’s patronage is also particularly timely as the Hope Centre launches a new Big Lottery funded project called ‘Pathways to Employment’ on 4 January. This involves refurbishing the charity’s old home, Maple Buildings in Ash Street, into a Learning, Development and Enterprise Hub for our clients, to become a place of training and progression.
“We will be starting a major new fundraising campaign for this shortly, and as part of this we are launching a new Hope Centre Business Forum for local businesses who wish to support the Hope Centre. This can link with the University’s work on social value measurement. It is an exciting time and Nick’s involvement in becoming a Patron is a big vote of confidence in the work of the Hope Centre and its dedicated staff.”
For more information regarding the Northampton Hope Centre, please visit their website.