2009 H.O.P.E. (Help. Our. People. Eat.) was founded in October 2009 by a group of three friends who lived in Oban – Jess McPhee, Iona MacMillan and Davey Livingston. They recognised the need to reach out to vulnerable people who were affected by homelessness, alcohol and drug addiction and mental health issues and so formed a steering committee along with another four interested people. H.O.P.E. began in November 2009 offering a meal, fellowship and support on a Wednesday and Saturday evening 7-9pm in the Salvation Army Hall.
2010 H.O.P.E. was granted charitable status on 16th September 2010, and increased its opening hours to include drop in sessions on a Monday and Friday 2-4pm, offering tea, coffee and company as well as distributing food parcels on a crisis basis. Local supermarkets and businesses were approached and made regular donations of food to H.O.P.E.
2011 Hours were increased to include a Monday evening meal known as Davey’s night, in memory of Davey Livingston, a founder member of H.O.P.E. who died in July 2011.
2012 H.O.P.E. volunteers continued to provide meals Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings and drop in sessions on Monday and Friday afternoons in the Salvation Army Hall.
2013 This was a year of big changes for H.O.P.E. The Salvation Army employed a Development Officer to extend their work in the area. Use of their premises was becoming restricted, so H.O.P.E.’s management committee recognised it was time to move and find suitable premises to rent. This also meant assessing H.O.P.E.’s entire operation, developing a business plan, planning for future growth and development. The small voluntary group which had kept H.O.P.E. operating up until now were stretched to capacity. The management committee entered into an agreement to rent premises in Argyll Street from June 2013 and seek funding to cover the costs of refurbishment, overheads and employment of a sessional worker for H.O.P.E. Jess McPhee, who had been working as a volunteer since the inception of H.O.P.E. was keen to be employed as a sessional worker and so resigned from the management committee and was employed on a sessional basis from Aug 2013-Mar 2014.
The management committee brought a resolution to the AGM 27/9/2013, that application be made to the Office of Scottish Charities Regulator(OSCR) to change H.O.P.E.’s legal status from an unicorporated association to that of an incorporated organisation. This resolution was passed, and changes to the constitution were agreed. The name changed from H.O.P.E. (Help Our People Eat) to Hope Kitchen SCIO.
2014 The Board of Trustees successfully applied for funding for 2 posts . Sue Vest was appointed as Service Manager and Jess McPhee was appointed as Catering Co-ordintor. Hope Kitchen was now an employer. OSCR approval was secured for the changes passed at 2013’s AGM and on 13th May 2014 the Charitable Association H.O.P.E. was removed from the Charities Register and the Charity was formally wound up. Hope Kitchen SCIO was entered onto the Scottish Charity Register on 13th May 2014 as a new Charity, albeit with the same Charity number and address as the Charitable Association. The staff, assets, liabilities and, undertakings of H.O.P.E. transferred to the SCIO on 13th May 2014 and it assumed responsibility for all operational activities from that date. The organisation developed strong partnership links with other agencies and projects ; was able to collect data to evidence outcomes; make stronger funding applications, and expand the services of Hope Kitchen.
2015 This year sees the development of a 5 year business plan for the organisation, an expansion of services and an increase in funding applications to employ more staff to meet the service demands.
We look forward to the future as Hope Kitchen continues to reach the vulnerable, lonely and marginalised people in the area of Oban & Lorn.