Achievements of Newham’s homeless celebrated at awards ceremony

Suited and Booted and Dress for Success with Monsignor John Armitage

Suited and Booted and Dress for Success with Monsignor John Armitage - Credit: Caritas Anchor House

A group of homeless residents who dedicated hours of their time to volunteering have been celebrated at a charity evening.

Caritas Anchor House resident Lee with Monsignor John Armitage

Caritas Anchor House resident Lee with Monsignor John Armitage - Credit: Caritas Anchor House

The Caritas Anchor House Awards ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of the homeless charity’s beneficiaries, their staff and community partners, also awarded 15 residents for their successes during recent work placements and apprenticeships.

Debbie Brown, who moved to the charity in October 2015, won the Best Contribution Award for her energy, leadership skills, consistent volunteering and involvement in campaigning for affordable housing in Newham.

She secured a work placement in Iain Duncan Smith’s office in Februrary, while he was still Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, after impressing him at a meeting in which she talked about her background and hopes for the future.

Debbie spent a week with the Department for Work and Pensions including the speechwriting, pensions, media, disabled person’s unit and Jobseekers Allowance teams, where she supported them with administrative tasks.

She said: “I have been at Caritas Anchor House for only six months and have achieved more in that time than I have in the last 20 years.

“They have completely changed my life. I want to secure a job, and they have given me belief in myself that I can.”

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Lee Sullivan, who has been a resident at Caritas Anchor House for less than four months, won the Education, Training and Employment Achievement of the Year award at the event on Wednesday.

Having been unemployed since the summer, Lee has now completed a course at the Ilford Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) Academy and is preparing himself for employment in tunnel excavation and underground construction.

Dress for Success and Suited and Booted, which provide suitable interview clothing and advice, plus mentoring to vulnerable and low-income individuals, were jointly named the charity’s Community Partners of the Year.

Keith Fernett, Chief Executive of Caritas Anchor House, handed out the awards at the ceremony along with Monsignor John Armitage, Chair of Trustees at the charity,

He said: “It is always a pleasure to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the homeless people that call Caritas Anchor House home, who have had to deal with so much adversity in their lives.

“Thank you too to our Community Partner award winners Dress for Success, and Suited and Booted.

“The services they provide have helped to support our residents, and many others, in their journeys to employment.”

To make a contribution to Caritas Anchor House, please donate click here.

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