Handcrafted Projects

Handcrafted Projects exists to see homeless and vulnerable adults fulfil their God-given potential. Find out more about how a Kingdom Bank mortgage is helping to make this a reality.

We chatted with
Dan Northover, founder and Managing Director of Handcrafted, to hear about how their Kingdom Bank
mortgage is being put to good use.

Tell us a bit about Handcrafted. How did the project get started?

Handcrafted was started nine years ago by a group from the local church who had got to know homeless people in the area, either through conversations on the streets or when they occasionally came along to church. There was a sense of frustration that we saw so much ability and potential in the people we were meeting that seemed to be going to waste. The free food and handouts that we were providing at the time weren’t helping them to break out of their difficult circumstances and use their gifts. So we decided to try and do something about it!

Sounds brilliant! What happens at the project?

We started Handcrafted with a very broad remit of helping people develop practical skills and do something for themselves. We were inspired by Ephesians 4:28 and the vision it shares of people turning their lives around by making something with their hands to help others. We started out with things like woodwork and gardening, but we soon noticed that around County Durham there is a lot of derelict property. This seemed like a great opportunity to grow our work into renovating houses. The service users help refurbish the properties, developing valuable skills and giving them something positive to work towards. They can then live in community together in these houses once they are complete.

“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”

Ephesians 4:28

What particularly excites you about your work?

Getting to see people achieving things they never thought possible and, over time, wanting to use those skills to help others. Many become mentors, teachers and housemates within the project. Seeing the sense of self-worth that people gain from having grown and experienced progress in their lives is really exciting.

How did Kingdom Bank come to be involved?

We were looking for ways to make this approach of buying multiple properties to renovate a sustainable option in the long-term by using equity release mortgages. This would enable us to grow the portfolio and sustain the charity, but was a complex proposition for a lender. I had heard of the charity Stewardship through multiple friends and approached them for advice on a bank who would understand what we were trying to do. They helpfully pointed me in the direction of Kingdom Bank.

How has your experience of working with us been?

Really positive! What we were trying to do was quite difficult to explain to commercial banks in a way that engaged them. Your former CEO, Chris, was so helpful in understanding our vision and approach in a way that other banks hadn’t. It was his idea to create a larger, long-term mortgage facility for us to draw down from over the next five years. This was a really novel approach which wasn’t otherwise available to us. It has made the work of Handcrafted sustainable for the years to come, meaning we can continue to be used by God to help transform the lives of those we serve.

 

Is your church or charity interested in purchasing housing to benefit your community? Take a look at our Community Housing Mortgages or get in touch. We would love to hear from you!

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