Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Turning homelessness into homefullness

Press Releases

Turning homelessness into homefullness

27th January 2012
A London charity is on a mission to turn homelessness into homefullness by enlisting the support of the public in a bid to raise awareness for its cause via social media networks.

Anchor House, a residential and life-skills centre for single homeless people in Canning Town, East London, will launch its ‘homefullness’ campaign on the 29th January in support of Homeless Sunday with the aid of its patrons, including Barbara Windsor, the Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe and ITV’s Julie Etchingham.

Anchor House director, Keith Fernett, says people will be asked to share their thoughts on what ‘homefullness’ means to them via twitter, facebook and YouTube. This could include posting comments, blogs, videos, photos or even songs. 

“The aim of the campaign is to get people to think about what homelessness is not, and most often people say a lot more than just a roof over your head,” Mr Fernett said.

“And that is exactly what we are trying to do here at Anchor House – give people more than just a bed but a second chance at life through education, training, rehabilitation and on-going support. 

“We support more than 200 people each year towards achieving ‘homefullness’ by addressing the root causes of their homelessness and we are very successful. We attract up to 2,500 visitors each quarter, but we need to improve our facilities and services in order to cater for increasing levels of homelessness.

“Last year homelessness rose by 13 percent and our waiting list for new residents is by the hundreds.”

As part of the campaign which ends in March, a live twitter Q&A will take place every Friday, where people can chat to Anchor House’s homeless residents. All twitter postings should include the hashtag #homefullness and @anchor_house. Facebook postings must be done via

People will also be encouraged to donate towards Anchor House’s £9.3m Home and Hope Appeal, which aims to raise much needed funds to redevelop its 50-year-old centre - providing new training facilities, a training restaurant, and 25 new move-on flats – aimed at breaking the cycle of homelessness.

Donations can be made via calling 0207 476 6062 or by texting the word HOPE to the number 70300 to give £3 or texting the word ROOM to the number 70300 to give £3 each month.

To watch a film on the Home and Hope Appeal: 


Jazmine Sandison, Marketing and Communications

Anchor House 81 Barking Road, London E16 4HB

Phone: 020 7476 6062




Last year 35,680 households in the UK were deemed homeless – without food, shelter and support. Anchor House is a nationally acclaimed flagship project addressing the root causes of homelessness: poverty; substance misuse; mental health issues; unemployment; lack of skills/education and offending.

It is a registered charity providing accommodation for more than 200 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.

The charity is located in Canning Town, in the London Borough of Newham, the third most deprived borough in England and Wales. Oxford Economics (2011) found that for every £1 invested in Anchor House, it delivers £3.98 of impacts for society, which equates to £5 million in benefits to society each year.

Last year, Anchor House increased the number of its residents moving on to independent accommodation and employment by 30 percent.

In 2010, Anchor House was recognised as a centre of National Excellence and were awarded five National Training Awards by the UK Skills Council, including our Head of Employment and Education, Aggrie Chikiwa (a former resident), being awarded UK’s Individual Trainer of the Year. It was also awarded the Charity Times Award for Best Use of Technology and was a finalist in the Third Sector Excellence Awards for Financial Management. In 2006 and 2008, it won the Michael Whippman Award for Innovation in Homelessness.