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Thames Reach Annual Review 2010

Homelessness What are we doing about it?


02 Street work 06 Hostels 10 Supported housing 14 Preventing homelessness 18 Learning and employment 22 Social networks

26 Chairman 28 Chief Executive 30 Who we help 32 This year and next 44 Board members 46 Financial information 49 How you can help 50 Thank you

Thames Reach is one of the leading homelessness charities in England and runs a range of services across the capital helping some of its most vulnerable people. We help rough sleepers off the street, provide accommodation and assistance to homeless men and women in our hostels and supported housing projects, and help people who may be in danger of becoming homeless.

Thames Reach is a London-based charity helping homeless and vulnerable people to find decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives. Our vision is to end street homelessness.

Our teams encourage people to develop new skills, re-engage with family and friends, and get back into work.

Last year the charity helped 8,908 people.


“Homelessness charities in London have helped 20,000 people off the streets in the past ten years.

Street work Adam with Peter and Nabeel 2

“Peter and Nabeel found Adam bedded down in a stairwell in inner-city London. “It can be a brutal and dangerous existence sleeping on the capital’s streets. Adam has been punched, kicked and had his front teeth knocked out. “He once woke up in the night to find that some youths had set fire to the sleeping bag he was in. “Adam has been homeless on and off for many years, struggling with drink and drug problems, and his latest spell on the streets has lasted a few months.

Staff and volunteers from Thames Reach’s London Street Rescue service are out on London’s streets every night of the year in search of people sleeping rough. Once they find people, their job is to assess the homeless person’s level of need and arrange suitable accommodation for them. They also help people reconnect with their families and return to their home area, if this is the best option for them.

“I’d love to have a place to live, somewhere warm and secure. My body can’t take it any more. My bones are aching and my back is killing me. It’s so cold. So cold.” “Pete has arranged for Adam to move into a hostel where he can take the first steps towards getting his life back on track.


Street work Tracey and Mark 4

“Six months ago though, an outreach worker’s persistence finally paid off. Mark, from Thames Reach’s London Street Rescue service, who had been working with Tracey for over a year, linked her in with support services for drug users and finally persuaded her to leave her rough sleeping site. “Tracey is now housed in a hostel, has given up heroin and is back in touch with her family. “Mark’s done so much for me. He’s given me my life back. I was at death’s door. “This time last year I was on a dirty old mattress under a bridge in a place full of rats. The local kids would burn my things every couple of weeks and I had also been attacked. I’d gone down with pneumonia and the doctors told me I wouldn’t last another winter being homeless. Mark got me out of there just in time.

Tracey slept rough for nearly 20 years before taking up the offer of accommodation. To most of us, it seems incredible that someone would want to sleep rough. But Tracey had an £80-a-day heroin habit to support, a successful begging pitch and didn’t want to wake up in a part of London away from her dealers and drugs.

“Now I can get up and do normal things like have a wash first thing, without having to find a spot to stick a needle into my body. “In the future I’d like to give something back and help people who are experiencing what I went through.”


Hostels Springer 6

Known by everyone on the homelessness scene as Springer, this former rough sleeper has led a troubled life, living in desperate circumstances and sometimes finding himself on the wrong side of the law. He spent 15 years sleeping rough in central London and begging to support his heroin habit – doubling his earnings to £300 a day at one stage once he’d got his hands on a wheelchair which Springer used as a ‘prop’, rather than because he really needed it. For many years he would get involved in arguments and punch-ups with other homeless people, as well as being the victim of gang violence – he was once found unconscious outside a London tube station with a nine-inch stab wound in his stomach.

“He’s been a resident at Thames Reach’s Graham House hostel since 2006 but took years to settle in and continually abandoned the project and returned to the streets. Thames Reach, however, is committed to never giving up on people, no matter how complex, chaotic and challenging they may be. “In 2009 an initiative was launched to help a group of the 205 most entrenched rough sleepers in London, including Springer, who was given special access to Graham House after intensive work by outreach teams. “Springer has now gone the best part of a year without walking out of the hostel and his support worker, Andy, has tirelessly supported him to get his life back on track. “Springer is making progress. He no longer injects heroin and he’s starting to engage with staff and other residents. “At times he can really be quite charming. He’s lost much of his anger and become a much more laid back person. He’s got some health problems but he’s brave and he is now looking to move on with his life.”


Hostels Kelly 8

“But Kelly has turned things around. Arriving at the Thames Reach Stamford Street hostel late last year, she was moved by how the staff go out on a limb for the residents. “It’s touching. It made me feel that I am worth a bit more than I thought. Maybe I’m not that bad a person.” “She’s now moved into her own private rented flat for the first time in her life and she’s determined to make a go of things. “Staff from Thames Reach’s Resettlement Team are making sure she settles in and Kelly attends a motivational self-help group for people recovering from drug and alcohol problems. “I stay away from the old crowd and I want to realise my potential. I really am starting to believe in myself.”

Kelly has hung around on the homelessness scene from the age of 16, sleeping rough and moving in and out of hostels. The temptations of drugs and drink have never been far away and were often an integral part of both her friends’ and her own lifestyle. After growing up in care, she confesses that she lacked self-belief and thought she’d never amount to anything.


From there he moved on to the Thames Reach Bermondsey Project which provides support to 30 people with enduring and serious mental health problems.

Supported housing Leroy 10

Veronica, his key worker, meets with him regularly to discuss his problems, needs and aspirations. This can be in the project’s office but they’ll often take a stroll in the park or visit a local cafe. She helps him keep in touch with local mental health professionals and develop the skills to maintain a future tenancy and get back on his feet. He also attends tenant coffee afternoons and cooking classes, which he enjoys.

From 1975 until the 1990s, Leroy was a drummer in reggae bands playing gigs across the capital’s club circuit. Then his mental health problems worsened and Leroy struggled to cope. His problems culminated in him being evicted from his flat and he ended up sleeping rough for six weeks on the streets of the capital before being found a place in a hostel.

And all the support he receives appears to be paying off – Leroy has been doing very well since he moved in and he is now a prime candidate for moving on into his own independent accommodation.


Thanks to her own determination and the support of her key worker, Grace (pictured right), Maria has begun to turn her life around and address her addictions.

Supported housing Maria and Grace 12

She has also successfully completed the TRaVEL volunteering course at Thames Reach, working in an office in Lambeth, and is now looking at moving into new accommodation where she won’t need the level of support she now receives. According to Grace, her job is about transforming lives. “Sometimes I see people who are just so down but I try to lift them up to where they dream of being.”

Maria lives in a supported housing project run by Thames Reach in Southwark. She had been struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine when she entered the project – something which has become a serious problem in London over the past fifteen years, devastating the lives of many individuals and scarring local communities. She’d also drink eight to ten cans of dangerous super-strength cider every day.

Maria is extremely grateful for all the support she received. “Grace helped me a lot. Some might say she nags a bit but I know it’s for my own good. She encourages me, pushes me and helps me to do things with my life. She has really challenged me but the results speak for themselves – I’ve stopped bingeing on crack and booze and I’m now back in touch with my kids and my five precious grandchildren.”


Preventing homelessness Anthony and Francesca 14

“By the time his case was referred to Thames Reach’s Southwark Reach team, Anthony was thousands of pounds in debt and in danger of being evicted onto the streets. Two suicide attempts showed how desperate he had become. “Francesca works for Southwark Reach, a support service for vulnerable adults funded by Southwark Council that helps people in danger of becoming homeless. “She helped get his benefits reinstated so he could pay off his rent arrears and also helped Anthony to start thinking about his future. “She signed him up for a computer course and put him in touch with Thames Reach’s Employment Reach service which helps people get back into work.

Anthony’s problems came to a head after his mother died two years ago. He lacked the skills to properly look after himself and things began to spiral out of control. He lost the job he’d had for 23 years, and when he missed an essential medical assessment, his benefits were stopped.

“Anthony has blossomed. A very depressed, isolated and anxious man is now confident, bubbly and enthusiastic. He is eager to get back into work, is back in touch with his family and once again enjoying his life.”


The contrast with a few years ago is startling. Earlier this decade, Wayne’s life was spiralling out of control due to a heroin and crack cocaine addiction.

Preventing homelessness Wayne and Kerry

At its worst, Wayne needed hundreds of pounds every day to feed his habit and his days were taken up with ‘begging, scoring and using hard drugs’.

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Wayne Morgan is training at college to be an electrician and is determined to find work. This former rough sleeper is now housed in south London and receives support from Kerry, a transitional support team worker, who helps Wayne maintain his flat and is working with him to get his life back on track.

Only after being housed by outreach workers and then bravely going ‘cold turkey’ in a bid to escape his addictions, did Wayne turn things around. Sadly, many of his friends who didn’t choose this path, or the opportunity to use drug rehabilitation services, died tragically young. Kerry is impressed with Wayne’s determination to succeed and positive outlook on life. “Wayne has come up against many barriers during his short life, growing up in care and struggling with mental and physical health problems, before his drug addiction took over. He’s had a second chance though and he is determined to grasp it with both hands.”


“After a spell in rehabilitation in her early twenties, she successfully completed a degree course but she lacked work experience.

Learning and employment Krissy 18

“I had a criminal record, I had a past. I didn’t feel I had any answers for potential employers. “But in my interview at Thames Reach I could be honest about my past and talk about my potential. I’m sure everybody has made mistakes in their life but if you are not given a chance to move on, then there’s no hope and the world would be a really harsh place. “I’ve become a worker, I pay tax, I’ve gained self-respect and I pay my way in society.

Krissy has been working at Thames Reach for four years and is well respected for her professionalism by both her colleagues and the people who use the charity’s services. It comes as a big surprise to some of the people who meet her when they discover that Krissy had experienced the world of homelessness and drugs herself after falling out with her family at an early age. She was just 13 when she first tried solvents and she soon moved on to other drugs before falling into the grip of heroin.

“My background and experiences also enable me to understand and help those people who are going through what I once went through myself.” “Thames Reach currently employs 103 people who have experienced homelessness.


Learning and employment Julia and student 20

For many people who have experienced homelessness, poor literacy skills can be a serious problem. Perhaps not as visible as a physical disability or a drug or alcohol problem but just as debilitating. Poor literacy can impact on people’s employment prospects, educational attainments and can seriously damage their life chances. It can even damage personal relationships – imagine not being able to write a simple text, email or letter to your family and friends.

Thames Reach is committed to delivering better services to prevent people being held back by poor literacy skills. A new report published this year found that 55 per cent of the people using our services struggled to complete a basic form. Julia Olisa has extensive experience in this field and wrote the report entitled ‘Turning the Key’ which examines the impact of poor literacy skills on people with a background of homelessness. An accompanying toolkit offers practical solutions for staff in the homelessness sector helping people address this problem. Julia has been a highly valued and skilled literacy tutor for Thames Reach for the past four years, opening up new opportunities with one-to-one training sessions and helping people raise their confidence levels and self-esteem. Ultimately her ambition is to equip people with the skills that will help them move on into college, find work and achieve their hopes and ambitions.


Three years ago, a home had been found for John at the Thames Reach Robertson Street hostel for older former rough sleepers.

Social networks John 22

His support worker, Nic, found out from John about how broken-hearted he was at having lost contact with his family. It took a bit of work to trace them but then contact was successfully made and within a few weeks John and Nic were able to go to Glasgow to stay for a few days with his son and grandson. It proved to be a tearful reunion with his son crying and saying: “We got you back pop, we got you back.” Nic has also helped him to address his drinking too and he now feels a lot healthier. “I’m 66 years old – I didn’t think I’d last so long but somehow I made it this far.”

John hadn’t been seen by his family for 25 years. His four children and three grandchildren thought he was dead. But John was still very much alive. He’d struggled with a marriage breakdown and an alcohol addiction and ended up sleeping rough on the streets of the capital for many years.

John has shown a determination to overcome the many problems he has faced in his life and his positive attitude is an inspiration to the staff and other residents at the project. John is now in regular contact with his family and more visits are planned.


Social networks Jacek and Monika 24

For many Central and Eastern Europeans, their move to the UK following EU expansion earlier this decade has been a fruitful one – both for themselves and for the UK economy, which has benefitted from additional tax contributions. But for a small minority it has been a nightmare. Jacek found some ‘cash in hand’ building work when he first arrived but this didn’t last and he soon ended up living in a rat-infested encampment in north London and drinking large quantities of super-strength ciders and lagers. This former Polish teacher, who once boxed for his country, had left Poland in search of work in London and the attraction of high wages.

“But once he had failed to find work, his lack of national insurance contributions meant he didn’t have a safety net when things didn’t work out and he was unable to apply for benefits or get accommodation. “When staff from Thames Reach’s London Reconnection Team found him and talked with him, he initially refused their help, so determined was he to make a go of things. But one rainy night, he approached his Polish-speaking support worker Monika, having realised that his dream had turned sour. “Jacek is pictured on his way to the airport with Monika for a flight home to an alcohol rehabilitation centre in Poland where he can get the treatment he requires. “Monika had seen him deteriorate over the 18 months since she had first met him. “I don’t think he would have survived another winter. “Before he boarded the bus, he pulled out some photos of his family. I thought his dream may not have worked out but he’ll soon be able to see his 15-year-old daughter and become part of her life again.”


Though truly within our grasp, 2012 is seriously threatened by a new risk of chaos and vulnerability.

Chairman Ken Olisa 26

Chaotic and vulnerable. Two words at the heart of homelessness. Living rough on the streets of the world’s greatest capital city can never be conducive to an ordered life. And an existence far from the comforts the rest of us take for granted leaves a homeless person vulnerable. Vulnerable to crime, to disease, to drugs and to the destruction of relationships. Although challenging, the last year has boosted our confidence that street homelessness in London will be ended – once and for all – by 2012. The uplifting stories throughout this report illustrate our progress towards that goal. Progress measured through our capacity to help even more people bring order to their chaotic lives and to rebuild their self-esteem – the best antidote to vulnerability.

The need to halve the £180 billion deficit means that our commissioners are anticipating budget cuts of at least 25%. There are also impending changes to the benefits system that could have a destabilising impact on people who have recently escaped rough sleeping and lead some to return to the street. The impact of these changes will have massive consequences for Thames Reach. We are immensely proud of the quality of our work and of the cost effectiveness of our services which, by creating stability and reducing chaos, deliver significant savings to the public purse. That our work’s social benefits clearly outweigh their financial costs is conveyed powerfully throughout this review. We hope that over the coming months the commitment to protecting quality services that can transform lives will prevail over the temptation to retreat to a slash and burn approach.

Ken Olisa is pictured in the garden of the Thames Reach Stamford Street hostel for former rough sleepers with resident Susan Palmer.

There is hope however. The coalition government’s ‘Big Society’ plays totally to our strengths. The core concept – that agencies of proven quality will work with local communities to deliver material social improvement – is pure Thames Reach. Unfortunately connecting what we do to what the Government wants, without disrupting services or capitulating on our immovable 2012 goal, won’t be easy. Success will require: firm leadership; tolerance

from our staff, service users, partners and funders; and a commitment to finding innovative solutions to the cure and prevention of homelessness. This report proves that we have all three. There is trauma ahead, but I am confident that we will ride the Big Society’s wave to the lasting benefit of the chaotic and vulnerable. Thank you. Ken Olisa Chairman


Chief Executive Jeremy Swain 28

There is no escaping the fact that this last year has been difficult for all of us working with homeless and vulnerable people. We contemplate the coming year with foreboding in the knowledge that funding cuts may well lead to reduced services to those most in need, and proposed changes in the welfare system risk shrinking the incomes of people who are already struggling by at something near to subsistence level.

Amidst the prevailing gloom, my favourite memories of this last year sustain me in the belief that Thames Reach has an essential role to play in helping people transform their lives. I had the privilege of spending time with Thames Reach’s Saturday Club, a self-help group of former homeless people who meet to share experiences and provide mutual support and encouragement. Their openness and commitment to one another is utterly uplifting. I was delighted that the Chair of the Saturday Club, Dennis Rogers, was honoured this year with a £3,000 Bank of America Local Hero Award for his extraordinary contribution to the community and those who have the least. Another moment that gave me immense pride was hearing two of my colleagues, Paul Newing and Maxine Gilroy, speak about their experiences as Guests of Honour at a Thames Reach Board dinner. Both have experienced the debilitating impact of homelessness and, in Paul’s case, the personal trauma of drug misuse. However, they were speaking at the meal from the position of being

Jeremy Swain (right) is pictured with Dennis Rogers, a former rough sleeper who is now a Thames Reach volunteer and who tirelessly offers his time to help homeless men and women.

extremely competent and highly regarded members of the Thames Reach workforce having successfully addressed the issues holding them back. There is so much more that has to be accomplished over the coming year. Our service users tell us that they want to find work and we must do all in our power to help them develop the skills to get, and sustain, work. To this end, we are developing a flagship Employment Academy in the heart of south London which will create many opportunities for people to find a job.

We must also redouble our efforts to further reduce rough sleeping in the capital, working closely with the Mayor’s London Delivery Board. As ever, we are deeply indebted to our many friends and supporters from all walks of life who believe that it is wrong that, in 2010, homelessness persists. Thanks for sticking by us and I look forward to your continued support and goodwill over the coming year. Jeremy Swain Chief Executive


Who we help 30

Gender Female Male

% 24 76

Age Under 18 18–24 25–35 36–60 Over 60

% 0 6 24 61 9

Ethnicity % White British 43 White Irish 5 White Other 14 White & Black Caribbean 2 White & Black African 1 White & Asian 0 Mixed – Other 1 Asian/Asian British – Indian 1 Asian/Asian British – Pakistani 0 Asian/Asian British – Bangladeshi 0 Asian/Asian British – Other 2 Black/Black British – Caribbean 10 Black/Black British – African 9 Black/Black British – Other 4 Chinese 0 Other 5 Refused 3 Gypsy/Romany /Irish Traveller 0

Sexuality Heterosexual Gay Lesbian Bisexual No wish to say

% 92 2 0 1 5

Disability Yes No

% 28 72

Armed forces Yes No

% 4 96

Time sleeping rough in total 0–3 months 4–6 months 7–11 months 1–3 years 4–10 years 11+ years None

% 16 8 6 15 8 4 43

Experience of prison Yes No

% 27 73

Learning difficulties Yes No

% 10 90

Employment status Unable to work (temp.) Unable to work (perm.) Pensioner Employed Can’t work/claim Seeking work

% 39 25 6 6 9 15

Support needs: alcohol Yes No

% 40 60

Support needs: drugs Yes No

% 32 68

Support needs: mental health % Yes 53 No 47 Multiple support needs Alcohol and drugs Alcohol and mental health Drugs and mental health Alcohol, drugs and mental health

% 15 18 14 8


Street work

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Two rough sleepers bed down for the night, ironically outside the London headquarters of a famous high street bank. These two Romanian men arrived in London one month ago looking for work but they are finding things tough.

Thames Reach’s outreach teams helped 993 rough sleepers off the streets of the capital last year as we strove to help London’s most vulnerable people get their lives back on track. Thames Reach’s London Street Rescue team worked across 19 London boroughs, every night of the year, its teams of staff and volunteers responding to calls to its emergency help line – 0870 383 3333. Thames Reach’s specialist Street Outreach Response Teams (SORTs) in Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and Hammersmith and Fulham provided outreach services to these boroughs

with high levels of rough sleeping and also worked with local authorities to tackle issues such as begging, street drinking and anti-social behaviour. The Croydon Reach team provided a mixture of outreach work with rough sleepers, accommodation and support in a hostel, and resettlement work with formerly homeless men and women. A partnership with the YMCA and other agencies, police and the local authority proved very effective in tackling homelessness in the borough. This year saw the outreach teams across London involved in an operation coordinated by the Mayor’s London Delivery Board, set up to coordinate the drive to end street homelessness in the capital by 2012. This initiative targeted the 205 most entrenched rough sleepers in London. Over 75% of them were helped off the streets. A six-month pilot was launched to help homeless people who were using London’s bendy buses as a refuge from the streets. 120 people were found and offered support and the project has now been recommissioned. A ‘Street Doctor’ pilot enabled a GP working with outreach teams to make medical assessments of people who were struggling with poor mental health on the capital’s streets;

subsequently helping them move into hospital beds and, from there, into settled accommodation. The latest street counts in London indicate that one quarter of the rough sleeping population is from Central and Eastern Europe. Thames Reach’s reconnection teams helped over 600 struggling rough sleepers to return to their homeland where they could receive support from services and their families. Thames Reach developed a new website to share good practice with other agencies on our work in this area – www.routeshome.org.uk Most recently Thames Reach, as part of the London Delivery Board, has been looking at defining the ending of street homelessness and most importantly seeking new ways of encouraging people to come in off the streets. A new strategy called ‘No Second Night Out’ has been adopted which will utilise new assessment beds being set up by local authorities and an assessment hub to which people can be directed, where their immediate needs can be assessed and responded to. It will be difficult to prevent people from ending up on the street but, by reacting quickly, we can prevent them from becoming entrenched in a street lifestyle.


This year and next 34

men and women with serious mental health problems, and two hostels at Shroton Street in Westminster and Stamford Street in Lambeth which specialise in working with rough sleepers with multiple needs.

Personalisation This year saw the introduction of ‘personalisation’, a new approach to offering care and support which passes more control and influence to the person receiving services.

Hostels Thames Reach’s six hostels offer accommodation to over 150 former rough sleepers at any one time. They are the base for skilled workers offering the support to help people struggling with mental health problems and addictions to drugs and alcohol. The aim is to help the residents prepare for independent living and escape the destructive cycle of homelessness. Thames Reach’s six hostels include: the Graham House hostel in Vauxhall, the Robertson Street project in Lambeth for older former rough sleepers, the Lambeth High Street project helping formerly homeless

Through a person-centred approach, residents were involved in sessions with their key workers which gave them the opportunity to plan what kind of life they want, who they want in it, and then decide how they can get there. As part of the pilots, residents were, for example, able to choose their key worker and explore a hobby or interest to help them build their self-esteem and confidence levels. We are working closely with local authorities to maximise the learning and benefits derived from this new approach.

Supported housing Thames Reach offers support to over 450 formerly homeless men and women in 70 supported housing projects across London. Working in partnership with six housing associations which own the properties, Thames Reach’s accommodation is a mix of selfcontained flats and shared housing. The housing projects constantly adapt, changing to meet the needs of the people who use our services. For example, tackling substance misuse requires schemes with the right type of effective specialist support in place.

Thames Reach has expanded the number of supported housing projects it runs, taking over the provision of support and housing management at projects in the London boroughs of Camden and Sutton. The new Sutton Step project provides specialist help with substance misuse, while the new Thames Reach Camden service offers support for people with mental health issues.

Rhi (left) once owned a successful business but the onset of serious mental health problems saw him lose everything and end up on the streets. Thanks to the support he is getting at Thames Reach’s Galleywall Road supported housing project, he’s regained his self confidence.


Preventing homelessness

This year and next 36

Tony was unemployed and struggling with depression when he found out about the Southwark Reach support service. His support worker helped him set some goals in his life and he is now volunteering at the charity and regularly applying for jobs.

Thames Reach runs a series of projects across London which aim to prevent vulnerable people slipping into homelessness. ‘Floating support’ teams are now operating in nine London boroughs including Hackney, where the Hackney Reach service was established this year. These schemes help people in danger of becoming homeless to live successfully in their accommodation, develop skills and interests, and find employment.

The Southwark Reach team has been involved in two pilot schemes in partnership with health professionals to help improve local residents’ health. ‘Three Dimensions for Diabetes’ with Kings College Hospital is an initiative to ensure people struggling with this serious illness receive the treatment they need. A collaboration with NHS Southwark aims to help people struggling with anxiety and depression to access talking therapies rather than just relying on pharmaceutical medications. Other partnerships include supporting Lewisham Irish Community Centre to run a project helping travellers in the borough. Thames Reach’s Lewisham Reach team piloted a personalisation project that ensures people using the service have a greater choice about the type of support they receive.

A pilot scheme called the Hostels Diversion Project – run by Thames Reach’s Resettlement Team working closely with Lewisham Council’s Single Homeless Intervention Prevention Team (SHIP) – helped people with low support needs to find private rented accommodation, thereby preventing them from taking up valuable hostel spaces. The pilot has proved successful and has now secured funding from Lewisham Council after initially receiving funding support from the London Housing Foundation. The Greenhouse Walk-in centre in Hackney supported nearly 1,500 people across the year, working in partnership with the City and Hackney Primary Care Trust. It provided health, housing and welfare advice to homeless people in Hackney and a drop-in service for Central and Eastern European rough sleepers. It made increasing use of the private rented sector this year to help over 200 people find housing.


Learning and employment

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A former rough sleeper, Andrew, has been housed and, after joining Thames Reach’s Employment Project, has now found work as a plumber.

Thames Reach recognises the importance of employment in helping people move away from the shadow cast by homelessness. Finding work helps people increase their income and reduces reliance on welfare benefits. It also improves self-esteem, health and social networks. Research undertaken by Thames Reach shows that over 70% of the people who use its services want to find work.

Thames Reach offers a range of schemes helping people develop new skills, increase their selfconfidence and find a job. The organisation is constantly seeking new ways of providing services that meet emerging needs. For example, the CEE Employment First Project was set up this year to help Central and Eastern European rough sleepers in London to find work and secure housing via the private rented sector. Thames Reach’s Employment Reach project runs skill-seekers workshops on issues such as job readiness, etiquette at work and employment rights. It also runs a drop-in service for people wanting support and advice on CV writing, job searches and completing job applications, and is extending the project next year under the banner AdviceNOW! The Breakthrough Project aims to significantly increase the number of service users finding work, by developing relationships with key employers who are prepared to offer work experience and jobs to people who have been long-term unemployed. We are committed to not only helping people find their first job, but to support them so they can continue progressing in their careers.

The Employment Academy Former homeless Londoners and the long-term unemployed in the boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth are set to benefit from the new £6 million Thames Reach Employment Academy opening up next year. The project will provide training and employment support services to hundreds of people in a refurbished Grade II listed building at Peckham Road in Camberwell, Southwark, until recently a local authority municipal office. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) provided £4 million to fund the acquisition and refurbishment of the building under their Places of Change capital funding programme. During the year, the building was purchased and handed over to Thames Reach in a formal ‘passing over the keys’ ceremony that involved cabinet members from both local authorities. Southwark and Lambeth are the two main local authority supporters of the project which is a great example of cross-borough collaboration. The Employment Academy also has strong backing from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.


Social networks

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After losing contact with his family, George slept rough in London for many years, before being found a place in Thames Reach’s Graham House hostel. His two daughters got in touch with support staff recently and a reunion was arranged to introduce George to the grandchildren he’d never seen, or knew existed.

A healthy network of family and friends can help people get their lives back on track after experiencing the trauma of homelessness. The Saturday Club is a Thames Reach self-help group of people who use the charity’s services and who get together at weekends to undertake a range of activities such as cooking meals, visiting the theatre or getting involved in photography lessons. The aim is to provide a place where people can fill the void in social and educational activities on Saturdays and spend time together in a drink and drug-free environment. Although Thames Reach staff offer support, the group is mainly run by the service users themselves.

Sometimes, friends can turn out to be quite the opposite. Thames Reach highlighted in an Observer newspaper article this year the disturbing trend of ‘cuckooing’ in which criminal gangs ‘befriend’ and work their way into vulnerable people’s flats, turning them into ‘crack dens’. The vulnerable person is often subject to violence and intimidation but allowed to remain in the flat so that the dealers have a base from where to use and supply drugs. The lives of the victims and their neighbours can quickly become a nightmare. Our ‘floating support’ teams have become experts at tackling this issue. Where they come across exploitation of this kind, they work closely with the local authority, police and landlord to have the crack den closed down and the vulnerable person rehoused. On a more positive note, staff across Thames Reach have been helping the people who use their services to get back in touch with lost mothers and fathers, children and siblings. This is often what homeless people want most, as we discover through our person-centred planning work with them. The family can often be the most important support network of all.

Awards Thames Reach chairman Ken Olisa was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his work in tackling homelessness in London. He has been chairman of Thames Reach since 1996 during which time the homelessness charity has helped tens of thousands of homeless people to turn their lives around. Ken was also named NED/Sunday Times Not-for-Profit Non Executive Director of the Year. Thames Reach’s Moving In Moving On (MIMO) painting and decorating project for formerly homeless people was commended in the education and training section of the Charity Awards – the largest and most prestigious awards event in the sector. MIMO helps people become proficient at painting and decorating and trainees develop team-working skills, as well as practical know-how, and many progress into further education and employment. Dennis Rogers, a Thames Reach volunteer who is the lead member of the Saturday Club, a self-help group for formerly homeless men and women, won the Bank of America Local Hero Award and £3,000. The money will help the group organise more social and educational activities at weekends.


This year and next 42

Campaigns Thames Reach has relentlessly campaigned over the past five years to raise awareness of the terrible problems caused by super-strength lagers and ciders. We have called on the Government to increase taxes on these dangerous drinks which have become the biggest killer of homeless people in the UK, responsible for more deaths amongst the rough sleeping population than crack cocaine or heroin according to the latest figures. Scientific studies prove that people’s drinking behaviour is affected by price and our experience is that people with serious alcohol addictions move over to weaker, cheaper lagers and ciders when their access to super-strength drinks is curtailed. From there, it is much easier to help them take further steps towards abstinence and recovery.

We are also putting pressure on the drinks industry to behave in line with corporate social responsibility expectations. There have been some successes as one major brewer – Heineken UK – has pledged to withdraw White Lightning from sale, a dangerous super-strength cider often known as ‘White Frightening’ by drinkers because of its notorious impact on people’s health.

benefit that the Coalition Government intends to introduce. Whilst acknowledging the need to reduce the overall housing benefit bill, the changes collectively are highly likely to restrict access to accommodation for people who already have very limited options and reduce the income of service users who, even before the cuts are made, are struggling along at subsistence level.

A series of publications have publicised the scandal of superstrength drinks including the Observer, Community Care and the Big Issue, and the BBC broadcast a controversial piece on the issue called ‘Britain’s Most Disgusting Drinks’.

In particular, the fact that people seeking work on Job Seekers Allowance will have their housing benefit cut after a year by ten per cent will lead to the accumulation of rent arrears, followed by evictions from accommodation and a return to rough sleeping for many of our service users. This will put in jeopardy the ambition to end rough sleeping by 2012.

In the summer, the Treasury invited Thames Reach to comment on and propose changes to thier review of Alcohol taxation and pricing. Through its killing with kindness campaign, Thames Reach continued to highlight the links between begging and hard drugs to help the public understand that giving money is often counterproductive and invariably ends up lining the pockets of drug dealers. The campaign poster depicting the body of a former beggar made up from the coins thrown to him by the public was used by a number of cities, towns and localities. Thames Reach has been campaigning against the changes in housing

As a frontline organisation committed to putting resources directly into the delivery of frontline services, Thames Reach does not spend large sums of money on expensive campaigns. During the year, two resourceful advertising specialists, Mark and Lewis, cleverly developed this approach into a campaign that made a virtue of this fact. The campaign poster was made deliberately crude and ‘non-glossy’. Joanna Lumley ‘painted up’ the image on an advertising hoarding at the launch and the fundraising message subsequently placed on 1,000 London bus shelters generously donated by Clear Channel Outdoors.

Deadly super-strength lagers and ciders are the biggest killer of homeless people in the UK.


Peter Davey Housing consultant to local authorities and housing associations. Formerly Director of Arlington House and Deputy Director of Circle 33 Housing Trust.

Board members 44

William Flenley QC A barrister at Hailsham Chambers, specialising in professional negligence and insurance law. Co-author of Solicitors’ Negligence and Liability, an editor of Cordery on Solicitors.

Professor Vera Morris Professor of Public Policy at London Metropolitan University Institute for Human Rights and Social Justice. Consultant to the OECD Paris and to the World Bank. Former government economist, Department for Education and Employment. Former advisor to the Joseph Rowntree Trust Board. Non-executive National Health Trust and member of the Residential Tribunal Service.

Vasim Ul Haq Vice-Chair A partner of Vantis plc, an accountancy and financial services company, a Director of HLB Vantis Audit, a registered auditor, and CEO of the Supportive Housing LLP.

Crispin O’Brien Qualified as a chartered accountant and recently retired as a KPMG partner. He is now a senior advisor to KPMG, nef consulting and Resonance Radio 104.4fm.

Paula Jones 30 years’ voluntary sector experience as a senior manager, Chief Executive and trustee. Former Director of Age Concern London. Trustee of the Peter Minet Trust.

Aideen O’Halloran A human resources specialist consultant and former HR Director at Arthur Andersen. Associate lecturer at Kings College. MSc in HRM.

Tony McBrearty Regeneration consultant. Former Deputy Chief Executive at Thames Gateway London Partnership, former Head of Policy at the London Borough of Newham, and Senior Research Fellow at the University of East London.

Ken Olisa OBE Chairman Chairman and founder of boutique technology merchant bank, Restoration Partners. He serves on the board of a range of companies including Thomson Reuters and Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation. He is a member of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). Brigid Sutcliffe Treasurer Management consultant, specialising in financial strategy and change management. A chartered accountant and former Director of Arthur Andersen Corporate Finance.

Jeremy Swain Chief Executive Member of Homeless Link National Advisory Council and Deputy Chair of the London Housing Foundation. Joanna Wade An employment tribunal judge. Former Chair of Crisis and organiser of its Open Christmas for many years. Andrew Whyte Director of Communications at the Foreign and Commenwealth Office. Previously, Director of Communications at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Executive Director Advocacy and Communications, Arts Council England and formerly at the BBC, Barnardo’s, News International and Shell. Steve Wyler Director, Development Trusts Association. Member of various Government advisory groups on social enterprise, community assets and the third sector (Cabinet Office, CLG, Ministry of Justice). Vice-Chair of the Social Enterprise Coalition and board member of the Adventure Capital Fund and the National Communities Resource Centre.


Independent Auditor’s statement to the Board of Thames Reach We have examined the summarised financial statements set out on pages 46 to 48.

Financial information 46

Board’s statement in respect of Thames Reach The summarised financial statements have been agreed by our auditors, Chantrey Vellacott DFK LLP, as being consistent with the full financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2010. These were prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice “Accounting and Reporting by Charities” 2005, and received an unqualified audit opinion. These summarised financial statements are not the full statutory financial statements and therefore may not contain sufficient information to enable a full understanding of the financial affairs of Thames Reach. For further information, the Board’s full Annual Report and Accounts, and the Independent Auditor’s Report should be consulted. Copies of these can be obtained from the Secretary, Thames Reach, Gem House, 122–126 Backchurch Lane, London E1 1ND. The full financial statements were approved by the Board on 5 October 2010 and have been submitted to the FSA.

Respective responsibilities of the Board and auditors The Board is responsible for the preparation of the summarised financial statements in accordance with applicable United Kingdom law and the recommendations of the charities SORP. Our responsibility is to report to you our opinion on the consistency of the summarised financial statements with the full annual financial statements and the Board’s Annual Report. We also read the other information contained in the summarised annual report and consider the implications for our report if we become aware of any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the summarised financial statements. Basis of opinion We conducted our work in accordance with Bulletin 2008/3 issued by the Auditing Practices Board. Opinion In our opinion, the summarised financial statements are consistent with the full annual financial statements and the Board’s Annual Report of Thames Reach for the year ended 31 March 2010.

Chantrey Vellacott DFK LLP Chartered Accountants Registered Auditor 5 October 2010

Statement of financial activities For the year ended 31 March 2010

General funds £

Designated funds £

Restricted funds £

Total 2010 £

Total 2009 £

Incoming resources Incoming resources from charitable activities Accommodation services 4,908,836 8,135,394 4,343 13,048,573 12,486,456 Support activities 167,643 5,028,450 1,816,177 7,012,270 5,513,564 Pathways to occupation 20,880 – 947,503 968,383 1,257,776 Incoming resources from generated funds Bank interest 10,178 – – 10,178 194,359 Total incoming resources 5,107,537 13,163,844 2,768,023 21,039,404 19,452,155 Resources expanded Cost of generated funds 47,831 127,210 28,299 203,340 152,187 Charitable activities 4,851,275 12,988,195 2,926,824 20,766,294 19,347,468 Governance costs 4,633 12,322 2,471 19,696 24,847 Total resources expanded 4,903,739 13,127,727 2,957,864 20,989,330 19,524,502 Net incoming/(outgoing) resources before transfers 203,798 36,117 (189,841) 50,074 (72,347) Transfers between funds (50,994) (214,634) 265,628 – – Net movement in funds 152,804 (178,517) 75,787 50,074 (72,347) Fund balances at 1 April 2009 319,108 4,761,490 412,380 5,492,978 5,565,325 Fund balances at 31 March 2010 471,912 4,582,973 488,167 5,543,052 5,492,978


Financial information

How you can help

48

49

Balance sheet as at 31 March 2010

2010 £

2009 £

Fixed assets Tangible assets 1,812,903 825,932 Investments – 510 1,812,903 826,442 Current assets Debtors 2,123,772 1,470,176 Cash at bank and in hand 4,885,540 6,076,155 7,009,312 7,546,331 Creditors: amounts falling due within one year (3,279,163) (2,879,795) Net current assets 3,730,149 4,666,536 Total assets less current liabilities, being net assets 5,543,052 5,492,978 Income funds Share capital 25 25 Restricted funds 488,167 412,380 Unrestricted funds: Designated funds 4,582,973 4,761,490 General funds 471,887 319,083 5,543,052 5,492,978 These financial statements were approved by the Board on 5 October 2010 and authorised for issue and were signed on its behalf by: K. Olisa, Chair B Sutcliffe, Treasurer

Thames Reach provides support to some of London’s most vulnerable men and women. Many of our projects rely upon donations from individuals and the corporate sector. Here are some of the ways you can help us to achieve our vision of ending street homelessness. Make a donation Every donation makes a difference to Thames Reach. If you would like to support us, why not set up monthly payments through a direct debit, enabling us to plan ahead. If you aren’t able to make regular payments, we are really grateful for a single donation. Please find a donation form enclosed, or visit our website www.thamesreach.org.uk for more information on how to give.

Fundraise for us Fancy raising money for Thames Reach whilst doing something daring and exciting? One of Thames Reach’s regular supporters, Darren Coulby, raised over £1,000 in 2010 by running a half marathon in Reading. We now offer running places, including half marathons, and can arrange challenge events across the globe. Alternatively hold your own event or set your own challenge to raise money for Thames Reach with sponsorship forms and www.justgiving. com. Contact our fundraising team for an ideas pack. Adopt a learning and employment project It can be difficult to get funding for our successful learning and employment projects. Can your company make a generous donation or become a partner for the volunteering scheme TRaVEL, our decorating and training projects Moving In Moving On and Shift, or our organic Farm Project based in the heart of the Sussex countryside? Legacy Leaving a gift to Thames Reach in your will ensures your generosity lasts beyond your lifetime and supports a cause that you are passionate about. For more information, please contact our fundraising team. Spread the word Don’t keep it to yourself – let others know about Thames Reach and the work that we do. For more information on supporting us, please visit us at: www.thamesreach.org.uk or contact our Fundraising Team at: fundraising@thamesreach.org.uk or call 020 7702 5626.


Thank you 50

Thames Reach’s work is dependent on the help, support and goodwill of many thousands of individuals and the backing of a range of public and private bodies and organisations. We are greatly appreciative of this support. Some of you have asked not to be named and we have respected this request.

Trusts and other funders Altrusa Club, Ashden Trust, De Boulay Charitable Trust, De Laszlo Foundation, Dulverton Trust, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, FareShare, GMAB Charitable Trust, Groundswell, Hyde Park Place Estate Charity, Leathersellers Livery Company, London Catalyst Fund, Mayor of Southwark’s Common Good Trust, Merchant Taylors Livery Company, NM Rothschild & Sons Limited, Oak Foundation, Roger Vere Foundation, St. Mary le Strand Charity, Strand Parishes Trust, StreetSmart, The Media Trust, Vintners Company, Walcott Foundation, Westminster Amalgamated Charity. Voluntary sector partners and other friends and supporters 3SC, 999 Clubs, ACEVO, Alone in London, Aspire, BARKA UK, Bench Outreach, BESOM Foundation, Bexley Churches Housing Association, Beyond Food, Bishop Stortford College, Blenheim CDP, Boathouse Organic Farm and Shop, Branches, Broadway, Bromley Churches Housing Action, Business in the Community (Business Action on Homelessness), Camden Calling, Campbell Tickell, CHAIN team, Chantrey Vellacott DFK LLP, Charity Days, Chaucer Community Mental Health Team, Community Links, Connection at St Martins, Cornwall College, CRASH, Create, CResT, CRI Camden, Crockham Hall village in Kent, Crossroads, Croydon Resource Centre, DASH Drug Advisory Service, Days Hotel Waterloo, Dellow Day Centre, Deptford Reach, Downlands Countryside Management Project, Drug and Alcohol Foundation, English Churches

Housing Group Beck House, Equinox, Eton House School, Faith in Action, Friends of the Elderly, Hackney Methodist Church, Hackney Winter Night Shelters, HAGA Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol, Harrow Baptist Church, Health E1, Homeless Link, Homeless Resource Centre, Homelessness Training Unit, Hope Dialysis Centre, Housing Action Barnet, Hudson House Trust, Insight, Intouch, ISIS, Joint Homelessness Team, King’s Church Centre, Kingston Churches Action on Homlessness, Konditor and Cook Southbank, Lakehouse, Lambeth Training and Employment Skills, Leatherhead Night Shelter, Lemos & Crane, Lewisham College, Lewisham Irish Community Centre, Lifeline, London Ambulance Service, London Arts, London Housing Foundation, Look Ahead Aldgate Hostel, Mary Ward Centre, Metropolitan Police, Metropolitan University College (Denmark), Mile End SAU, New Philanthropy Capital, PEEC Polish Family Centre, Peter Bedford Housing Association, Polish Psychologists Association, Providence Row Housing Association, RAMFEL, Red Kite, Rhythms of Life, Salvation Army, SE5 Forum, SHP, Signpost Bexley, SITRA, Social Action for Health, Southwark Works, SPEAR Outreach Richmond, Spires Day Centre, St Ann’s Church in Portsmouth, St Giles Church, St Giles Trust, St Ignatius Church in Stamford Hill, St Ignatius Housing Association, St James the Less Church in Vauxhall, St John’s Church in Palmers Green, St John’s Waterloo, St Mungo’s, St Paul’s Knightsbridge, START Teams, Sutton Mental Health Foundation, The Young Vic Theatre, Thinktank, Threshold Housing Advice, Thrive, Three Boroughs Nursing Team, Toynbee Hall, Two Step – Hope Worldwide, United Charities of Covent Garden, University College

Hospital, ur4jobs, U-turn project, Vauxhall Regeneration Company, Voluntary Action Westminster, W4B, Welcome Centre, Westminster Almshouses Foundation, Westminster Drug Project, Westminster School, Whitechapel Mission, Workforce, YMCAs, Zurich Community Trust. Corporate sector supporters 8 Build, A4E, AJG Cross, Alchemis, Allen & Overy, Ambac Financial Group, American International University, Apetito Café, Argyll, Aspect Capital, AVIVA, Bain&Co, Barclays Global Investment, Barclays Wealth, Battersea Pie Station, BDO Stoy Hayward, BlackRock, Bloomberg, Blue Dolphin Film & Video, Bunzl Lockhart Catering Equipment, Clear Channel, Clifford Chance, Community Action Southwark, Coutts, Davis Langdon LLP, Deleadus, Designers Guild, Deutsche Bank, Devonshires, Diageo, DP9, DTZ, EAT, Edco, Elliot People (Premier Foods), Ernst & Young, Experian QAS, Filmbank Distributors Limited, Four Communications, Freshfields, Furniture Aid South Thames, Goldman Sachs, Gotshal & Manges, Green Man Skills Zone, Greggs, Hansen Palomares Solicitors, Herbert Smith, HSBC, International Fundraising Consultancy, Keningtons Chartered Surveyors, King Sturge, Kingsway Hall Hotel, KPMG, Lovells, M3 Consulting, Mace, Marsh, Martineau, Matthew Trust, McGrigors, McKinsey, MEC Global, Merlin Entertainments London Eye, Millwall FC, MTV Networks Europe,


Thank you 52

Corporate sector supporters continued Navigant Consulting, Pret a Manger, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prime Development Limited, Prospectus, Regency Hyatt Hotel Marble Arch, Restaurant Associates, Reuters, Rosling King, Rotary Club of Barking, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Royal London Society, Royal Mail, Royal Pharmaceutical Company, RPC Tedeco UK Ltd, Shine Camberwell, Sloane Robinson, Southwark Law Centre, Tang Lung Combat Academy, Ted Baker, Thistle Hotel Victoria, Tiger 11, Total Objects, UBS, Waitrose St Katherine’s Dock, Waste Not Want Not Foundation, Weil, Westpac, Wragge & Co.

Individual supporters Alan Cripps, Dr Angela Jones, Ann Flynes, Antony Fletcher, Bryan Tookey, Catrina Mayhead, Chris Ben, Chris Gibson, D O’Brien, Daniel Smith, Darren Coulby, David Blockley, David Gold, Deborah Thomas, Dennis Rogers, Dr James Kustow, Dr Maureen Crane, Dr Phil Timms, Elinor Olisa, Frances O’Neil, Gerard Hargreaves, Graham Baker, Grant Shapps MP, Hattie Llewelyn-Davies, Iain Barnes, Ian Barral, Ian Robertson, Jenny Davis-Peccoud, Joanna Lumley, John Baguley, John Brown, John Crowther, John Davey, John Johnson, Julia Olisa, Kate Bingham, Kate Hoey MP, Keith and Myrna Stent, Kevin Baughen, Kevin Ireland, Marije Serrano-Visser, Mark and Lewis, Martin Linton, Mary Robinson, Michael Palin, Michelle deBurgh, Nick Grant, Olivia Cabane, Paul Baynham, Paul O’Keefe, Phill Clayton, Quentin Blake, Rafael Serrano, Ray Greenfield, Reverend James Francis, Richard Blakeway, Rilla Paterson, Robert Bittlestone, Simon Cribbens, Simon Gordon, Simon Hughes MP, Sophie Jourdier, Steve Hart, Victoria Wedd, Zoe Nettlefield. Statutory funders and supporters London boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster. Homes and Communities Agency, Housing Strategy and Support Directorate (Communities and Local Government), UKBA.

Primary Care Trusts City and Hackney, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Sutton and Merton, Westminster, Oxleas NHS Trust. Registered social landlords and partners AmicusHorizon Housing Group, Croydon Churches Housing Association, Genesis Housing Group, Hyde Housing Group, London & Quadrant Housing Trust, Metropolitan Housing Partnership, One Housing, Paddington Churches Housing Association, Places for People Group, Richmond-Upon-Thames Churches Housing Trust, The Peabody Trust. Also thanks to all our volunteers and everyone who has completed various sporting events for us in order to raise money, such as running, swimming and biking long distances.

CBP0002032510103756

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Thames Reach Gem House 122-126 Backchurch Lane London E1 1ND 020 7702 4260 www.thamesreach.org.uk

Thames Reach Annual Review 2010  

Thames Reach's Annual Review 2010 looks at how some of the capital's most vulnerable people have been helped by the charity over the past 12...

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