Wednesday, 29 May 2024
Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Hands of Hope receives investment from Kent Community Foundation

CHARITY Hands of Hope has received investment from Kent Community Foundation to increase the capacity of their commercial operations ‘Hope Farm Organics’ helping them move towards long-term sustainability.

Earlier this year Hands of Hope applied to Kent Community Foundation for support from the Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund (KSELF) to extend their successful fresh produce delivery subscription scheme. Their application for £78,000 was successful and the funding, comprised of a £60,000 repayable loan and an £18,000 non-repayable grant, was made available in October 2022. 

Originally launched in July 2021, the Hope Farm Organics Box Scheme is a successful home delivery service, distributing fresh, organic, in-season produce. Profits from the service go back to the charity in support of their aims to tackle food poverty, rural isolation and loneliness, as well as improving physical, mental and environmental health outcomes for communities throughout Rother, Hastings and West Kent.

In 2022 the box subscription scheme had reached its capacity and the charity needed help to extend its service. Their plans to increase capacity needed additional finance and they approached Kent Community Foundation under KSELF their blended loan and grant scheme to help increase their growing space from 2.5 to 5 acres, build a thirty-metre glasshouse to extend the growing season, improve refrigeration and parking facilities, undertake minor improvements to double the number of volunteers on site and recruit a full-time commercial manager.  

Hands of Hope receives investment from Kent Community Foundation
Emma harvesting.

James Doran, Chair and Founder of Hands of Hope, said:

“Hope Farm Organics has been a huge success but we quickly reached full capacity and we needed investment to grow. Those who subscribe to Hope Farm Organics not only support our programmes and activities but enable us to continue providing free weekly produce to local food banks. As we face a cost-of-living crisis it’s vitally important that these services are available for those who need them the most. Applying to Kent Community Foundation for a Kent Social Enterprise Loan was the best route for us and we are delighted to secure a total of £78,000 investment, £18,000 has been awarded to us as a grant and we have five years to repay the loan.”

James Horne, Grants and Social Loans Manager, Kent Community Foundation, said:

“The Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund has been bridging the funding gap for Kent’s new and existing social enterprises, for ten years by offering unsecured loans of between £10,000 and £100,000. The loan has a flat interest rate of 5% with a split between capital and interest payments remaining fixed throughout the term with the bonus for charitable organisations that the financial package includes an element of up to 30% of the loan amount as a grant.”

To find out more about the Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund, please visit: www.kentcf.org.uk/loans/social-enterprises or call James Horne, Grants and Social Loans Manager on 01303 814 500.

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