Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

'Brilliant, revolutionary, and cutting‐edge’ charity defies expectations on World Homeless Day

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'Brilliant, revolutionary, and cutting‐edge’ charity defies expectations on World Homeless Day

11th October 2011
Thursday 10 October 2013 brought together individuals from a wealth of different backgrounds to mark World Homeless Day at a reception at the House of Commons.

The event, put on by homeless charity Anchor House and sponsored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, attracted the likes of former England footballer Sol Campbell and Anita Dobson, most famous for her role as Angie Watts in Eastenders.

Every year, Anchor House provides support and accommodation to single homeless people giving them so much more than just a roof over their heads. Last year alone, they provided a home for 202 people, helping 67 move on into independent living and supporting 50 into employment. At the event, host Baroness Maddock spoke about the growing problem of homelessness in the UK, calling on her colleagues in Parliament to confront the issues around housing and homelessness, and reflect on what the government can do to help combat it.

Also speaking on the day was economist Lord Gus O’Donnell, Anchor House Patron and former Cabinet Secretary, who emphasised the remarkable impact that the charity has had – not just for people they help, but for society as a whole.  

“Oxford Economics found that for every £1 Anchor House spent, there was £4 of social benefit ‐ that’s an amazing social impact and a terrific investment. Visiting Anchor House, I realised that the people there are working incredibly hard to deal with some of the most difficult cases and are really making a difference.”

Dominic Raab, the Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, also lent his support praising the ‘self‐help ethos’ and positive attitude of both staff and residents at Anchor House. Speaking of the week he spent there, he said that this ‘brilliant, revolutionary, and cutting‐edge’ charity defied his expectations.

“I think a homeless shelter can be quite a depressing place, but Anchor House was actually very inspirational and something to behold. If you get the chance to go down and see it, I urge you to. The work there really proves that those that fall from a great height can bounce back very high.”

Trustee, Bishop Thomas McMahon, spoke of Anchor House’s impressive achievements to date in turning people’s lives around and the future vision for this ‘flagship organisation’. He said that to his mind ‘there could not be a more noble goal than giving skills, value, encouragement, and hope to another person’.

Monsignor John Armitage VG, the Chairman of Management, explained that in order to continue this vital work, Anchor House is raising £9.3million for their Home and Hope Appeal, aiming to refurbish and expand the 50 year old building, ensuring it is able to meet the increasing demand on services.

£4million has been raised to date, but with £5million left to go, Anchor House needs help to ensure that every person who walks through their doors has access to the best care and support possible, making the hope of independent life a reality.

For more information or to make a contribution to turn a life around please visit www.anchorhouseuk.org or call 0207 476 6062.


MEDIA CONTACT:

Interviews and photographs are available by contacting Jazmine Sandison, Marketing and Communications Lead, on communications@anchorhouseuk.org or 020 7476 6062.


EDITOR'S NOTE:

Anchor House is a residential and lifeskills centre for single homeless people aged 19 to 65. Based in the Newham, the third most deprived borough in England, we support over 200 people each year, giving them so much more than just a roof over their heads. Our aim is to address the root causes of homelessness – such as poor education, substance misuse, mental health problems, domestic violence or a history of offending – and create sustainable solutions that ensure the people we help will never find themselves in that situation again. In practical terms, this means not only giving our residents the skills and confidence they need to rebuild their lives and move on to independent living, but also serving the community as a whole.

During 2012:  

  • we recorded over 2,500 visits from community members accessing our services each quarter
  • we supported 50 formerly homeless people back into employment  
  • we helped 67 people move into independent living
  • our residents completed 2103 volunteering sessions
  • our occupancy rate was 94.6%

Registered charity number 253669

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm with a long‐standing track record of successfully supporting the world’s leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground‐breaking and business‐critical mandates. Our 2,500 plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms.

When we talk about Corporate Responsibility (CR) at Freshfields we use the phrase as an umbrella term to describe the work we do, beyond simply complying with our legal obligations, to: minimise our negative impacts on the environment; create a positive impact on the communities in which we operate; use our professional skills for the greater good (ie pro bono); and to be an excellent employer, promoting diversity and inclusion. Our approach to CR is guided by our values of integrity, excellence, understanding of our clients and our communities, teamwork and imagination. Our vision, which is integral to our business strategy, is to become the leading international law firm in this field.

In London some of our work aims to equip homeless people with the skills to gain and sustain employment, achieve independent living and break the cycle of homeless by providing work experience, job coaching, informal support and pro bono legal advice.