It was a cold, rainy night in North Yorkshire…
Every year, lifelong friends James and Tom visit a Christian conference in Scarborough called ‘ECG’, to help serve as part of the team that makes the event happen. In April 2016, James and Tom were sharing a room together and one of their chats, extending late into the night, got onto the topic of the God-given calling to help those in need. Both shared visions being able to serve the community in a new and better way – providing high quality support, with relationships at the core. Not just putting a plaster over the problem, but instead addressing the root causes of issues to bring about sustainable change. Meeting needs when they arise but then focussing on prevention for the future. The idea behind Number 11 was born.
Five months later, in September 2016 James decided to take a year out from his medical studies to focus on getting Number 11 off the ground. He talked and talked until most people become sick of listening, however over the following months lots of conversations with friends, families, charities, councils, members of the community, churches, builders, funders and more helped turn an idea into something which could become a reality. Swan Bank Church agreed to provide a building to host the project and more and more people were getting on board. Number 11 grew from an idea, sparked by conversations in a run-down McDonald’s and shabby Scarborough hotel room, into a movement of people desperate to bring hope and restoration to their community. There was just one problem… a £350,000 shortfall.
If there’s ever a story to show the power of following a God-given vision, this is it. Funding applications were rejected or delayed, problems were cropping up left right and centre and at times it seemed Number 11 was destined to be nothing more than an idea after all. We are never promised serving will be easy, and it took many months of persistence before one final opportunity arose. Members of the community, local churches and businesses came together to raise over £30,000. The Methodist Church was instrumental in providing support and as the last i’s were dotted and the last t’s crossed – the funding total stood at just over the target of £350,000.
James kept talking (he really doesn’t shut up) until more people started coming on board. In early 2018, a management group was formed and the team driving Number 11 grew to 10 people, including the hiring of Dave as Centre Manager. Support for the project in the community grew and the building began to take shape. In mid-2018, Katie joined the Number 11 team as ‘Client Support Manager’ in response to the growing number of clients accessing our centre and our plans to develop our Re-build programme.
The story of Number 11 has barely begun. Incredibly, in just over 18 months, Number 11 has moved from being a vague concept to a fully equipped centre with a building, staff, volunteers and a huge heart for the community. We opened our doors for the very first time on the 24th May 2018. It feels like since then time has absolutely flown by! It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but we’re already seeing some incredible stories of healing, support and positive change in our clients, and we’re excited to continue seeing more in the future.
Check out the rest of the site, find out more about what we do here, and don’t forget – we need you to become part of our story too! Find out how you can get involved. Also, be sure to flick through some of the pictures below, which give a snapshot into the journey of Number 11 over the past 2 years.