Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Ugly Christmas Presents = Hope for the Homeless

Press Releases

Ugly Christmas Presents = Hope for the Homeless

20th December 2011
Dreading the thought of opening a Christmas present you don’t like?

Don’t fret – you can now give the gift to someone who really needs it!

This year 35,680 households in the UK were deemed homeless – without food, shelter and support. But people can help this year by donating their unwanted Christmas presents to Anchor House– a nationally acclaimed homeless charity.

The residential/life-skills centre located in Canning Town - the third most deprived borough in England and Wales, will sell unwanted items donated to them on eBay and 100% of the proceeds will go to sponsoring a room for a homeless person.

Alternatively, people can also sell their own items via and choose Anchor House to receive a donation from the proceeds.

Anchor House is a registered charity providing accommodation for up to 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. Each quarter the centre attracts 2,500 visitors using its services.

The less ugly Christmas presents out there – the more chances Anchor House's homeless residents have at turning their lives around. And if people are feeling especially generous this Christmas – they could also spread some cheer by simply donating at

Send your unwanted items to:
Anchor House
81 Barking Road
London E16 4HB

For more information visit or call 0207 476 6062.


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.

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.

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.