The Band of Hope

 

In 1847 a 72-year-old Irish Presbyterian lady was invited to Leeds to speak at a series of children’s meetings. Ann Jane Carlile was convinced that children suffered because of the ready availability of ‘strong drink’.

Ann met a young Baptist minister called Jabez Tunnicliffe, who had been shaken to the core by his experience of a dying alcoholic. Just before he died, the man had clutched at Tunnicliffe and made him promise to warn children about the dangers of drink.

Ann and Jabez decided to start a regular children’s meeting. It isn’t clear who thought of the name, but Ann is supposed to have said, “What a happy band these children make, they are the hope for the future.” The idea for regular children’s meetings spread and in 1855 The United Kingdom Band of Hope Union formed to support the local groups.

Fifty years later, the Band of Hope numbered 3.5 million children and adults. Queen Victoria was its Jubilee patron and it was part of the fabric of Victorian society and the Church.

In 1995 the UK Band of Hope changed its name to Hope UK – inheriting a 150-year tradition of putting children and young people first and encouraging them to ‘live life to the full’.

Further information about Hope UK’s history can be found in the History document and A Walk Through History written by David Edgington, a Hope UK member and volunteer.

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