Murray Hall Community Trust first started in Tipton, one of the six towns of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council based within the West Midlands conurbations of the Black Country. Historically the area was at the heart of the industrial revolution and although there was rapid development at the time, most of those industries have now disappeared and the social and economic conditions are one of the poorest in the country.
Sandwell is an urban borough with a score ranked as the 12th most deprived local authorities out of 326 in the country. People living in the area have a higher than average incidents of all the major illnesses and life expectancy is lower than that national average.
In the early 1990’s the Government at the time invested in the most deprived areas in the country through a City Challenge Fund, and Tipton in Sandwell was one of the towns to receive an award that provided the opportunity for new innovations.
It was during this City Challenge period that Murray Hall Community Trust was formed and became a registered charity in 1994 with a small pot of funding and just two members of staff. Over the last two decades the organisation grew to a significant size reaching an annual turnover of £5m, employing over 150 staff with around 80 volunteers. In the current climate of austerity many of the public funded services have reduced or disappeared, and subsequently some of Murray Hall Community Trust services have also reduced.
The organisation’s founding member Malcolm Bailey was pivotal in the many new innovative services that have been established. Murray Hall Community Trusts was a key partner in the development of Neptune Health Park – the first community focused health centre in the country at the time. During this period Murray Hall Community Trust also was consulted and contributed to the health service reforms and was acknowledged in the NHS Plan (2000).
Murray Hall has responded to many of the needs in the community due to the deficit of services and support. In response we have secured external funds and developed several innovative services that were successful enough to become integrated as core statutory provision.
Over the past 23 years we have built up a strong presence in the community and we continue to be a significant community organisation with a diverse portfolio of support services. We have years of experience and a wealth of knowledge and expertise in many of the different stages of an individual’s life, from early years to end of life. We have the capability to provide high quality services and build capacity in the communities we engage with. As we identify needs and gaps in services we continue to work innovatively with others to find new solutions building and build resilience and promoting health and wellbeing.