Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

East End homeless charity is taking action to improve the lives of those in need on World Homeless Day

Press Releases

East End homeless charity is taking action to improve the lives of those in need on World Homeless Day

1st October 2013
On World Homeless Day, 10 October 2013, advocates focus on the estimated 100 million people around the globe who live without a roof over their heads, yet are so easily overlooked.

In London alone, the homeless population increased by an astonishing 62% percent in just two years, with 6,500 rough sleepers counted in the capital ‐ and this does not even account for the thousands of ‘hidden homeless’ ‐ those sleeping on sofas of friends and families or living in B&Bs and other temporary accommodation.

With homelessness on the rise, the issue remains an epidemic that requires society to stand together and make a difference. To help shed light on the sheer number of people living without a home, while also bringing down these figures even further, Anchor House – a homeless charity based in East London ‐ is taking action to improve the lives of those in need on World Homeless Day.

Anchor House is gathering together influential people from private and public sector organisations, as well as local government and health agencies at the House of Commons. This aims to draw attention to homeless people’s needs and provide opportunities for society to respond to homelessness, which is the core purpose of World Homeless Day.

The event, sponsored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, will see speakers including event host Baroness Maddock, Lord Gus O’Donnell and Dominic Raab MP, the Bishop of Brentwood and Vicar General Monsignor John Armitage encourage open discussion around the issues of homelessness and what can be done. The reception will provide an opportunity to meet front line staff and residents from Anchor House who have experienced homelessness first hand. 

Keith Fernett, Anchor House Director, says there are many factors that can lead to someone becoming homeless and no two stories are ever the same. 

“On this World Homeless Day we aim to shine a light on those who are so often overlooked. 

“Every year, Anchor House is home to up to 220 people who have lost their homes, and we see the people behind the statistics.

“The charity sector is currently facing severe challenges, but in spite of this, we have persevered and Anchor House is determined to survive because we know that we’re making a difference to people’s lives.”

For more information or to make a contribution to turn a life around please visit or call 0207 476 6062.


Interviews and photos are available by contacting Jazmine Sandison, Marketing and Communications Lead on or 020 7476 6062. 


Anchor House is a residential and lifeskills centre for single homeless people aged 19 to 65. Based in the Newham, the third most deprived borough in England, we support over 200 people each year, giving them so much more than just a roof over their heads.

Our aim is to address the root causes of homelessness – such as poor education, substance misuse, mental health problems, domestic violence or a history of offending – and create sustainable solutions that ensure the people we help will never find themselves in that situation again. In practical terms, this means not only giving our residents the skills and confidence they need to rebuild their lives and move on to independent living, but also serving the community as a whole.

During 2012:  

  • we recorded over 2,500 visits from community members accessing our services each quarter
  • we supported 50 formerly homeless people back into employment  
  • we helped 67 people move into independent living
  • our residents completed 2103 volunteering sessions
  • our occupancy rate was 94.6%

Registered charity number 253669

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm with a long‐standing track record of successfully supporting the world’s leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground‐breaking and business‐critical mandates. Our 2,500 plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms.

When we talk about Corporate Responsibility (CR) at Freshfields we use the phrase as an umbrella term to describe the work we do, beyond simply complying with our legal obligations, to: minimise our negative impacts on the environment; create a positive impact on the communities in which we operate; use our professional skills for the greater good (ie pro bono); and to be an excellent employer, promoting diversity and inclusion. Our approach to CR is guided by our values of integrity, excellence, understanding of our clients and our communities, teamwork and imagination. Our vision, which is integral to our business strategy, is to become the leading international law firm in this field.

Our community investment (CI) programme focuses on helping those who are socially excluded to make a full and positive contribution to society. We decided to target homelessness in 2000 because it was something that many of the people who work in our London and other offices saw on a daily basis on their way to and from work, and we recognised we could make a positive contribution to tackling.. It is something our people feel passionately about and we believe that by using their talents and skills, through volunteering, we can make a real difference. In London our work aims to equip homeless people with the skills to gain and sustain employment, achieve independent living and break the cycle of homeless by providing work experience, job coaching, informal support and pro bono legal advice.