Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

East London charity transforms despair into hope on World Homeless Day

Press Releases

East London charity transforms despair into hope on World Homeless Day

9th October 2015
The former Shadow Minister of State for Employment, Stephen Timms MP, has praised an East London charity’s work to provide a sustainable path out of homelessness and “their capacity to transform despair into hope”.

The comment was made at a reception to mark World Homeless Day at the House of Lords, put on by homeless charity Caritas Anchor House and sponsored by The Global Noticeboard. Timms congratulated the charity for raising the aspirations of people that have faced complexities that many of us can only imagine.

“What’s fantastic about Caritas Anchor House is that it gives people the prospect of a decent future, people that thought they would never have one, and support them into employment.”

Every year, Caritas Anchor House provides accommodation and support to single homeless people, giving them so much more than just a roof over their heads. They work with vulnerable groups, including those experiencing substance misuse, domestic abuse, mental health problems and offending. Last year alone, they provided a home for 231 people, helping 71 into independent living and supporting 63 into employment.

The charity is based in the London Borough of Newham, and was commended by event host Field Marshal Lord Guthrie on their life-changing work, while operating in the second most deprived borough in the country.

Dr Muhammad Bari, a Patron of the charity, said, “Caritas Anchor House has a truly unique model that focuses not only on helping homeless people to gain employment and move on to independent living, but that creates active citizens within the community.”

Caritas Anchor House has embarked on a vital development to improve and expand their services, including 25 ‘move-on’ flats, to support homeless people into independent living. However, they have recently been told by HM Revenue and Customs that they now face an additional VAT bill of £1 million for this development.

Speaker Lord Gus O’Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary, expressed concern about the impact of the decision from HMRC.

“I hope that the disputes with HMRC will be resolved in a successful way. It is a real shame it is standing in the way of what could be really important and an enhancement to what’s going on.

“Caritas Anchor House supports people to build skills, get education and jobs, contribute to society and pay taxes rather than receive benefits. It’s a win all round and they are doing work that is very difficult and yet still making a real difference.”

Monsignor John Armitage, Chair of Trustees at Caritas Anchor House, said that the charity now needs help to ensure that every person who walks through their doors has access to the best care and support possible, making the hope of independent life a reality.

“A strong community is one where we come together to support each other to make a positive difference. We need an all-out assault on poverty, and that can only be achieved by working together in partnership.”

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


In London, homelessness is dramatically increasing, and last year alone 7,581 people slept rough - marking a 16% rise on the previous year, and more than double the 3,673 recorded five years ago. Recent figures have also shown another rise in households living in temporary accommodation, and as of June 2015 the number stood at 66,980.

Caritas Anchor House is a residential and life skills centre addressing the root causes of homelessness – including poor education, drug or alcohol misuse, mental health problems, domestic abuse or offending. Their driving mission is to ensure that those who walk through their doors grow in confidence and move towards leading independent, self-fulfilling lives by providing education, guidance and personal rehabilitation. Registered charity no: 1147794

The Global Noticeboard (GNB) is a humanitarian social networking platform, aiming to tackle social exclusion. Everything that happens on the GNB contributes to their mission to help make the world a better place. Their initial focus will be to strive to eradicate homelessness.

Jazmine Sandison, Communications Lead
Caritas Anchor House, 81 Barking Road, London E16 4HB
Phone: 020 7476 6062

Further quotes, interviews, high resolution and alternative photographs are available on request.


Stephen Timms MP

Lord Gus O'Donnell

Field Marshal Lord Guthrie 

Monsignor John Armitage

Dr Muhammad Bari MBE

The speakers, L-R: Field Marshal Lord Guthrie, Monsignor John Armitage, Stephen Timms MP, Dr Muhammad Bari, Lord Gus O'Donnell