Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Caritas Anchor House praised in House of Lords

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Caritas Anchor House praised in House of Lords

24th January 2014
In a debate in the House of Lords yesterday, Caritas Anchor House was commended as a charity that has ‘diversified and begun operating in new and creative ways’.

At the debate discussing the resilience of the UK in the face of economic and climatic challenges, Lord Touhig spoke about the challenges to the voluntary sector in the UK, and the contribution of charities in providing help to vulnerable people.

He stated that government plans to make more than £5 billion funding cuts to charities will affect 25% of the most deprived areas of the country - the same communities in which charities are working to maintain civil society and increasingly providing a backstop and safety net to the welfare system.

Lord Touhig also said that The National Council for Voluntary Organisations described 2012 as a year in which voluntary organisations faced a “triple whammy of increased demands, rising costs and an unprecedented fall” in income, but that:

“In the face of this triple whammy, the response of charities has been remarkable. In order to meet changing needs, many charities have diversified and begun operating in new and creative ways. A prime example is Caritas Anchor House, a residential and skills training centre working with homeless people, not far from here in the East End of London. During the past few years demand for its help has increased, while partner organisations have seen major reductions in their funding. Nevertheless, in the last quarter of 2013 alone it helped 34 people into employment and 17 residents into independent living.

Like many charities, it has increasingly partnered with the public sector. Caritas Anchor House has set up a complex needs team, working in partnership with local health services to support people’s well-being. Throughout the United Kingdom such partnering is enabling charities to signpost vulnerable people towards assistance, and help them to navigate their way through the system to access the help which they are owed and desperately need.”

Lord Touhig went on to praise the response of charities to the crisis as ‘inspirational’ and stated that ‘without the voluntary sector the quality of life of millions of our fellow citizens would not be what it is today. We owe the voluntary sector a great debt, and it is time to pay up.’

To view Lord Touhig’s speech, please click here and skip to 15:36:50 on the video, or alternatively download a transcript here.

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