The Friends of Hopewell Association was established in 1993 following visits to Ashford and Hopewell by Dr Jane McCullum and the then Mayor of Ashford, Gordon Turner. Both had a mutual understanding of the strong links between the two towns, and it was agreed to formally approach their respective Councils to officially ‘twin’ Ashford and Hopewell.
Twinning groups in Ashford and Hopewell were formed and those with an interest in twinning and the town’s links joined forces to raise funds to host members from the other Association on bi-annual visits.
In 1999, Ashford Borough Council officially recognised the twinning link and a formal resolution was passed. Since then, both the Friends of Hopewell Association and the Hopewell Twinning Association have enjoyed a mutual friendship that has seen the twinning link develop into a strong partnership, despite being seperated by more than 4,000 miles.
The Friends of Hopewell Association continues to promote the twinning link in Ashford and foster relationships on both sides of the Atlantic through friendships, school connections and business links. Events are held throughout the year to raise funds to host a group from Hopewell every other year, with a delegation from Ashford visiting Hopewell in the intervening years. The next visit from Hopewell to Ashford is in 2018.