Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

1 night - £1 million in pledges for award winning homeless charity

Press Releases

1 night - £1 million in pledges for award winning homeless charity

18th October 2011
More than £1 million in pledges were offered in support of homeless charity Anchor House last night at an event attended by more than 200 people at the Inner Temple in London.

Led by patrons ITV’s Julie Etchingham and former world boxing champion Barry McGuigan MBE, the charity launched a £9.3 million Home and Hope Appeal to help bring regeneration to East London and its homeless residents.

Keith Fernett, Anchor House director, said the event was a tremendous success with Barclays Bank pledging a substantial amount of support towards redeveloping its 50 year old centre.

“Last night was a historical moment for Anchor House. In a matter of one night, we now have enough funds to build five out of 25 new studio move-on apartments for our residents,” Mr Fernett said.

“We still have a long way to go, but we are confident that this is the start of big things to come.” 

At the event, a passionate John Bird, founder of the Big Issue and former homeless person, paid tribute to the work of Anchor House. 

He said it was important that people supported charities like Anchor House who provide the homeless with a hand up, not a hand out.

“When you meet an organisation like Anchor House, it makes you feel really good because it shows what can be done when homeless people take control of their lives with the assistance of professionals and volunteers,” Mr Bird said.

The £9.3m development includes new education, training and rehabilitation facilities. As well as 25 new transitional “move-on” studio flats to help residents achieve a sustainable transition back into independent living, and a new training kitchen for people to gain catering qualifications.

The charity has enlisted the help of an 18 member Appeal Board recruited from the business sector, including chair Michael Dawson (Chaucer plc) and vice chair, Simon Hall (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP).

It has also attracted a high calibre of support from its patrons, including Lord Patten, Lord Glasman, Rt. Hon Ann Widdecombe, Jeremy Paxman, Julie Etchingham, Barbara Windsor MBE, Barry McGuigan MBE, John Bird MBE, the Archbishops of Westminster and Southwark, Sir Gus O’Donnell KCB, the Bishop of Brentwood, Sir George Bull, Sir Christopher Benson and Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank.

Recently Oxford Economics found that Anchor House saves society and tax payers more than £5 million a year by helping to turn around the lives of its homeless residents. Including saving society up to £3.2 million from lower crime.

To watch a film on the appeal visit For more information or to donate to the appeal please visit or call 0207 476 6062.


Photos and interviews are available by contacting Jazmine Sandison on 0207 476 6062 or


Anchor House is a nationally acclaimed flagship project addressing the root causes of homelessness: deprivation; drug addiction; mental illness; unemployment; lack of skills/education and crime.

It is a registered charity providing accommodation for up to 180 single homeless people each year. It also provides a wide range of accredited vocational training courses in construction, electrical, plumbing and distance learning for both residents and the local community. Each quarter the centre attracts 2,500 visitors using its services.

The charity is located in Canning Town, in the London Borough of Newham, the third most deprived borough in England and Wales.

In 2010 Anchor House achieved:

  • 95% of residents were involved in positive transitional activities
  • 32 residents obtained part-time or full-time employment
  • 58 residents moved on to independent living.

Last year, the charity was recognised as a National Centre of Excellence and was awarded five National Training Awards by the UK Skills Council, including UK Individual Trainer of the Year, which was presented to its Head of Employment and Education, Aggrie Chikiwa (a former resident). 

It was also awarded the Charity Times Award for Best Use of Technology and was a runner up in the Third Sector Excellence Awards for Financial Management. In 2006 and 2008, it won the Michael Whippman Award for Innovation in Homelessness.