Caritas Anchor House
Caritas Anchor House is a Catholic homelessness charity that provides residential and life skill support for single homeless adults, and acts as a community empowerment hub in the local area.
Every year, Caritas Anchor House provides a home and support to over 250 homeless people and helps them to rebuild their lives by providing education, guidance and personal rehabilitation. They work with those affected by unemployment, mental health, substance misuse, domestic abuse and offending.
Based in the London Borough of Newham, one of the most deprived areas in the UK, Caritas Anchor House launched their Home and Hope Appeal in 2011 to transform their organisation and leave a lasting legacy of hope in the local community.
The primary goals of the appeal are to:
- Provide a home for at least an additional 25 homeless people each year, in purpose built move-on accommodation.
- Provide their residents and the local community with opportunities to build community resilience.
- Support more people with complex needs, such as mental health and substance misuse to move on to independent living.
Work on the development began in 2008 and Galliford Try and Rooff have both been contractors for different sections of the appeal, whilst Walker Management have project managed the building contract and quality assured the works carried out on site. The architects for the development are Stockwool.
Commenting on the work undertaken, Linda Maytum-Wilson, Acting Chief Executive at Caritas Anchor House, said: “Our loyal building contractors have been magnificent. We have had to put a halt to things a few times but they have worked with us and kept work going so we could continue with this unique and exciting project.”
The development will offer the community modern offices and training facilities, and is divided into several phases:
- Refurbished accommodation – this phase is complete and saw the renovation of existing residential rooms into individual learning zones, suitable as both a bedroom and workspace. The rooms provide good quality accommodation and help facilitate study and personal development.
- Transitional accommodation – this phase is complete and saw the construction of 25 move-on studio flats, adjacent to the main building. As the move away from the supportive environment of Caritas Anchor House can be difficult for some residents, the flats are designed to help residents achieve a sustainable transition back into independent living.
- Office and training facilities – these phases are currently ongoing and when complete, will include new office space, training facilities, as well as a music room, multi-faith room and a patio area.
Commenting on the project, Acting Chief Executive, Linda Maytum-Wilson said:
“I am delighted our move-on flats are completed and that 25 of our residents have now taken the next step in their journey to independent living. Residents living in the flats will have full responsibility for all aspects of their lives, but are safe in the knowledge that Caritas Anchor House is next door to give them the support, if needed, to flourish. With this increase in our capacity, we will be able to help more people than ever before.”
Debbie Brown was the first resident of Caritas Anchor House to move into the flats, and said: “For me it is about being able to look after yourself again, being able to take control of things.” She also says the physical proximity offers “the confidence of knowing that someone is still here to give support.”
Linda concluded: “At Caritas Anchor House, along with supporting our homeless residents, we have always been determined to make a positive contribution to our local community. When the Home and Hope Appeal is completed we hope the modern training and support facilities will benefit many more Newham residents. It really matters to us that what we do helps build community resilience in Newham.”