Holding out Hope has been involved in numerous projects, supporting children and adults in Romanian and Bulgarian Institutions since 1991. We believe that we have a duty of care and much counter discrimination or abuse in the care and treatment of the residents we are trying to support.


Pete Brady, the founding member and chairman of the charity first went out to Romania in 1991 with Bristol Mencap, having seen horrific films of some of the institutions and the deprivation suffered by the inmates. The charity became registered in 1999 and has always consisted of a small core group of volunteers, however new volunteers are always welcome as there is an endless need for help.

We endeavour to offer real practical help to the people we support and aim to take the largest amount of funds possible with us. We can then spend this on whatever people tell us they need or things that we feel will benefit them once we have seen their circumstances. All of our volunteers pay for their own international flights, enabling all of the fundraised money to go directly to the people that it is destined for. Holding out Hope have no administration costs and is made up of volunteers who offer their time to running the charity at no cost.




  • Challenge institutionalisation which operates illegally under the Human Rights Act
  • Support the unicef small group home in Sofia, an adult institute in Samuil and a new children’s home in Ruse. This involves providing practical supplies and equipment to suit the residents’ needs (stationery, toys, sensory equipment, medicines, clothes, shows, toiletries, building rennovation), taking them on day trips,  and sending volunteers
  • Supporting the carers and staff in the insitutes to best look after the children and how best to cater for their needs
  • Help staff and the local community to recognise a duty of care to the residents of the institutions
  • Support a unit for abandoned babies and toddlers at St George Du padore
  • Support the family of a severely disabled young girl called ‘Anna‘ who lives in appalling conditions in a forest


  • Sponsoring staff to come to England to see how different the treatment is in care homes in the UK.
  • Setting up dental treatment and employing support workers.
  • Providing clothes, shoes, medicines, toiletries.
  • Supplying equipment (for example, wheelchairs, stationery, toys, protective headgear, foot bathes, sensory toys.)
  • Helping provide trips into the community.
  • In the past we have funded a candle making workshop, home repairs and the fitting of kitchens and bathrooms.

Get involved with Holding out Hope or, alternatively, make a donation

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