Heart of Tamworth began in 2012 in the parish of St John the Baptist, Tamworth when the Church community recognised that it had two vital resources - some great (but under-used) facilities and volunteers who were both keen and able. More importantly, parishioners recognised there was great need and that need was growing because other services and facilities being closed due to cutbacks.
One of the Parish’s first decisions was to make their struggling social club available to Tamworth Amateur Boxing who have done some wonderful community work since then, especially in educating young people who struggle in school.
The former priest’s house was taken on by Homestart as a home for 6 mothers and babies who are supported by Homestart staff and volunteers.
Most of Heart of Tamworth’s own services began at Sacred Heart in Glascote Heath until we developed another facility at St John’s. We now lease both centres from the Church. We registered as a Charity in 2014 so that we could be seen as a project that was working for the whole community and to strengthen our work by giving it the structure and accountability that is demanded of all registered charities. Our work has continued to expand.
Our aim is to help all members of the community, but especially the most disadvantaged, to realise their own strengths and to build a stronger and closer community.
This website shows where this has led us.
Our project has grown with over 200 people working as volunteers and over 2,000 accessing our services each year. There is scope for improvement, as a recent independent audit of HOT suggested.
The report advised us that these improvements will come about by employing a full time community worker and by creating a new hub at the Sacred Heart Community centre as a base for our volunteers and a place where service users can be welcomed, mix with others and have easier access to Heart of Tamworth facilitators. We have raised money for nearly 50% of the capital works and are applying for the remaining 50% and the community worker post. We hope to have images of the new design in early 2018. We are hoping this will be another good year for our community and our work.
I retired from my job as an engineering manager some three years ago now and looked forward to slowing down a little. As many retired people will tell you, "retirement just ain't that easy".
Joking aside I am blessed with my involvement here at HOT and blessed in my ministry as a deacon in the Parish of St John the Baptist. Long may the hard work of all of my colleagues and the wonderful network of volunteers here in Tamworth prosper.