A big boost for three housing charities in our first awards for 2015

As you may know, through our Charity Donations Fund we award up to £20,000 every three months to charities that focus their work in the housing sector. 

The first application window of this year closed at the end of March, and the applications have been thoroughly scrutinised. There were a number of strong applications, but we’ve made our decision. It gives us great pleasure to announce awards to three successful charities!

Colchester Emergency Night Shelter

Colchester Emergency Night Shelter (CENS) supports homeless adults in a range of ways, from CV writing to providing emergency accommodation. It often works with the most vulnerable of people, those with drug or alcohol problems, mental health issues or the long-term unemployed.

CENS did a great job of explaining how they would use the funds to set up a new Rent Deposit Guarantee scheme to fill a gap left by the closure of a similar scheme in the Colchester area. 

With a £10,000 award from our Charity Fund, CENS will help people who currently use the shelter to find and retain a long-term rented property. Throughout the first year of a new tenancy, CENS will guarantee rent payments, provide a conciliation service if things go wrong, and continue to support the tenant to become an active member of the community.


StopGap – Sheffield

The safety, security and respite that just two or three nights off the streets can provide is often enough to help people make positive steps towards longer-term housing arrangements. That’s the belief held by StopGap – a charity which covers the costs of short-term accommodation for homeless people in Sheffield. They did a great job of explaining this to us in their application, and will receive a £5,000 award as a result.

They will use the award funds to help them extend their reach, helping more people to escape the threats of violence, hunger, cold and wet weather, and the potential health problems that so often can make life a misery for homeless people. We particularly liked that everyone they work with must commit to working with a referral agency to ensure everything is being done to secure a longer-term solution.

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CINTRE Community

CINTRE Community is founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to live an independent lifestyle wherever possible. And we couldn’t agree more.

This application asked us to provide crucial funds for CINTRE Reachout South West – a service which helps people with a range of learning difficulties to live independently in their own homes. Key workers provide valuable support for things such as housing queries, managing money and acting as a responsible person or advocate, if needed.

Supportive communities are strong communities, so we’re delighted to award £5,000 to an initiative that is allowing people to develop and retain their independence in a supportive environment.