A LANDMARK Hereford hotel will soon be transformed and have a brand-new use.

Vennture, the Christian charity behind the street pastors, has bought Merton Hotel in Commercial Road.

The hotel will give Vennture's street presence teams an operating hub and provide housing for struggling families.

The charity, which provides relational support to hundreds of families and individuals across Herefordshire, also has a bigger vision to help families and young people facing crises.

Over the next two years, Vennture want to create 15 fresh-start homes across its two sites as part of Vennture's plans to provide a fresh start for families coming out of difficulties.

Hereford Times: Merton Hotel will be changed into social housing by Vennture. Picture: Google MapsMerton Hotel will be changed into social housing by Vennture. Picture: Google Maps (Image: Google Maps)


These homes will help families get back on their feet by linking them with quality work, quality mentoring and supportive relationships.

"Families wanting to get back on their feet need more than just a roof over their heads," said Rob Thomas, Vennture's lead executive.

"Despite a boom in house building, there remains a shortage of suitable homes for people facing or coming out of hard times."

Last month a Vennture link worker who was helping a local family found there was only one property available across the whole of Herefordshire.

Vennture has invested time over the last three years listening to families, young people and individuals who have fallen on hard times.


"We know life can be tough and complicated and we know the importance of a safe place to call home," said Lisa Charles, development and partnership lead at Vennture.

"Vennture sees the development of this innovative approach as key to keep children and young people out of homelessness.

"It's especially difficult for children living on the edge of homelessness. Too often children end up living in unsuitable places, overwhelmed by circumstances and with limited support.

"We want to change that."

Vennture wants to give everyone the opportunity to change young people's and families lives for the better.

As the cost-of-living crisis escalates in the run-up to Christmas, the charity wants this to be an opportunity for those who can afford to support struggling Herefordshire families.

Vennture wants to raise £1.5m to allow it to create its first 15 fresh start homes.

Visit its website and make a one-off or regular donation here, and for further information email enquiries@vennture.org.uk.