On 1 October the Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, visited the Cardinal Hume Centre to bless the newly opened Basil Hume House. The building houses five flats, providing the young people who are resident at The Centre with the chance to live more independently.
Sara Batista (19) was the first person to move into the house. She explained her relationship with the Centre having lived in the hostel two years ago and then coming back to the Centre to live, volunteer and work. She praised the flats’ construction and the opportunity it will give her to grow up more and feel more independent. The independence of residents in the new House is a key idea behind its construction – it aims to help those in need and prepare them for a life living outside of the Centre without the constant attention and over watch that the hostel in the Centre provides.
Veronica Fulton, head of Fundraising, thanked the many people who had helped with the project. She thanked the Archbishop for his support and presence at the opening, all the donors that had made the project a reality and the builders whose man hours had transformed the block into new, modern flats. At the end of her thanks, she said the statement which resonated most for all those there – ‘Basil Hume would be proud of this’.
Cathy Corcoran, Chief Executive of the Cardinal Hume Centre said: “We are delighted to welcome Archbishop Nichols here today. We would like to thank everyone involved for helping to make this House a reality. We believe it has the potential to truly change lives. We would also like to thank the family of Basil Hume for allowing us to continue to use his name in our work here at the Centre.”
Speaking about the opening of the new House, Archbishop Vincent Nichols spoke about the new opportunity these flats would provide:
“It is wonderful to hear Sara’s testimony because it shows that this can make a difference. Cardinal Hume would be proud to hear it and see all that has been done in his name. While I cannot baptise a building, I can bless it and the values of this Centre and ask that the flats provide peace, warmth and comfort for all those who dwell in them. The flats offer the opportunity of dignified living to young people. We thank God for these flats and ask God’s blessing upon them and all who will dwell in them. May the Cardinal Hume Centre long continue to do the work of God.”
Aiming to provide a home for young people who no longer require the level of support provided by the accommodation at the hostel, the Basil Hume House will provide young people the chance to work and study whilst also increasing their chance of successfully sustaining a private tenancy in the future. All of the rooms contain a small kitchenette, a single bed, wardrobe space and modern bathroom facilities. There is also a communal washing room with washing machines and dryers on the ground floor. Those who went and looked around the flats after were impressed by their design and praised their construction.
The Rt Rev. John Arnold, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, said after looking around, ‘this is an exciting venture which will give a sense of being at home for young people without one.’
Further photos can be viewed and downloaded here.