'Life-saving' service at Canning Town homeless charity scoops £150k


Former cab driver Richard was able to turn his life around with the support of Caritas Anchor House. - Credit: Caritas Anchor House

A "life-saving" service helping homeless people rebuild their lives has received a six-figure funding boost.

Caritas Anchor House provides a safe place to stay and a range of support for people in Newham.

Caritas Anchor House

Caritas Anchor House is based in Barking Road, Canning Town. - Credit: Caritas Anchor House

The charity, based in Barking Road, Canning Town, has been awarded a £150,000 grant from City Bridge Trust, which is the City of London Corporation’s charities funder.

The money will pay for the role of a mental health lead who will coordinate efforts to help those in need of support.

Former cabbie Richard, who would prefer to only use his first name, found himself on the streets after losing his partner to cancer.

He suffers from PTSD as a result of trauma from abuse he suffered as a child.

After being offered a place at Caritas Anchor House, he received his first mental health assessment and took part in counselling. He now lives in his own flat in West Ham.

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Richard said: "Slowly but surely I started to reconstruct my life. The sessions gave me a new focus and it was like the weight was lifted off my shoulders.

"My outlook on life has changed completely and it has saved my life, without a shadow of doubt.

"I feel like there is hope - a chance that I can rebuild my position in society."

Giles Shilson

City Bridge Trust chairman Giles Shilson said Caritas Anchor House provides a vital role in helping people to turn their lives around. - Credit: Patrick Balls Photography

City Bridge Trust chairman Giles Shilson said: "It’s clear from the testimony from people who’ve been helped by Caritas Anchor House that it provides a vital and in some cases life-saving role in helping people turn their lives around.

"This funding will enable people, who in many cases have complex issues, to receive the support they need to build their resilience and self-esteem and make the transition into independent living."

Last year, 365 people were referred to Caritas Anchor House - more than twice the number it can accommodate.

It was able to help 278 people, 137 of whom have since moved on - 95 into homes of their own and 42 into short-term accommodation or support services.

Caritas Anchor House Trust manager, James McNicholas, said: "We work with people who face a lot of barriers in accessing services, who often have low self-esteem, high levels of isolation and lack the soft skills and confidence to achieve their goals.

"We offer support so that those we are here to help can take the lead in their own recovery and to develop the skills that mean they can sustain their tenancy in a new home and leave homelessness behind for good."