Local charity celebrates 40 years of supporting the homeless

Deptford Foundry
4 weeks ago

Deptford Reach, part of Thames Reach, is celebrating 40 years helping people in the borough of Lewisham escape homelessness. The charity has gained thousands of hours from volunteers during this time, with London property developer Anthology contributing to this support.

Deptford Reach is a small charity that relies on volunteers to help local vulnerable people rebuild their lives, whether they have experienced homelessness, mental illness, drug or alcohol misuse or social exclusion. The charity provides somewhere to access practical help: to eat a homemade meal; to take a shower; to get support with CV writing; or to give visitors an address to use for job applications and GP sign-ups; as well as providing IT support to find jobs in the local area.

The charity, which is close to Anthology’s first development, Deptford Foundry, has welcomed the team to help support the work that they do in the local community in which they are building. To date Anthology’s team has donated well over 250-man hours to the centre by helping in a variety of ways.

Getting involved in helping to host activities and games for the adults who use the centre is one aspect. The team from Anthology also contribute their time to the overall running of the centre, enabling the charity’s small team to respond to the needs of its visitors. Most recently, Anthology’s Planning Director, Scott Bailey, assisted with an IT session which the centre runs for those who have never used a PC before to help with job applications. Anthology has also provided ad-hoc improvement works to the centre to help maintain a pleasant environment for visitors and volunteers alike.

Ben Allen, Project Director at Anthology Deptford Foundry commented: “Deptford Reach is the only open access day centre in the borough meaning the resources are more in demand than ever. The intervention centre for adults has been in the Deptford area for 40 years and the relentless hard work of the team has seen the lives of many local people enriched and changed for the better.

“Social value is an important part of what we do and defines the impact we have on a local community, whether it’s siting a new development close to an open green space or a scenic waterway, things that may be important to house hunters, or donating our time, resources or funds to a local charity. We have really enjoyed our ongoing relationship with Deptford Reach which is part of our commitment to having a positive impact on and giving something back to the communities where we work. We are happy to play our part and are proud to support this wonderful initiative.”

Katherine Cowling, Lead Manager at Deptford Reach said: “Volunteers such as those from the Anthology team provide more than just time and practical help. Users of the centre gain confidence from meeting and chatting to people from different walks of life. This can later translate to the confidence needed to apply for that job or go for that volunteer post that enables them to re-gain independence.

“It’s a tough economic climate for many charities, in which to secure funding so we are really proud to be celebrating 40 years of helping those in need in Lewisham which wouldn’t be possible without our supporters.”