The town’s charity for homeless people, Watford New Hope Trust, will unveil a new name today as its approaches its 25th anniversary.
From today, the name of the charity has been simplified and it will become New Hope, distancing its self from the similar sounding Watford Community Housing Trust.
From just two "soup kitchen" coaches in Whippendell Road the charity now offers eight accommodation services with 60 beds; five support services, including a mental health worker and tenancy support service); an employment-focussed training scheme; and a one-acre community market garden to some of Watford’s most vulnerable residents.
Though the full range of services the charity supports more than 600 people every year and it has become one of the largest providers of homelessness services in the Home Counties.
Regarding the timely name chance, the charity’s chief executive officer, Matthew Heasman, said: "One of our many reasons for this change is due to the growing public confusion between Watford New Hope Trust and other similar sounding organisations in Watford, such as Watford Community Housing Trust.
"Over the years we have received a rising number of misdirected inquiries due to the similarity of our names.
"Also, although the vast majority of our work is in Watford, we have worked for many years with people from across Hertfordshire, notably our tenancy sustainment team support people in the boroughs of Dacorum, Hertsmere and Three Rivers.
As well as simplifying the name, New Hope has also changed its slogan from "Hope for the Homeless" to "Preventing Homelessness. Transforming Lives". This is in accordance with the charity’s five year plan, in which it aims for its work to be "marked by a robust approach to combating homelessness in Watford.
"Also, then phrase "the homeless" is now seen throughout the homelessness sector as a derogatory and dehumanising term - the politically correct phrase is "people who are homeless".
The rebranding has not been an expensive exercise. The new logo and publicity have all been created by New Hope staff and a local printed is supporting the charity in keeping costs to a minimum.