Pictured above: Durham University students sorting through donated clothing

In 2019 we said hello to 3 new members of staff; Wendy Simpson and Lauren Cooper (Support Work Assistants) and Amie Wood (Accommodation Worker).

We welcomed 5 new trustees to the Management Committee; Helen Burton, Ruth Craige, Victoria Halliday, Michele Woods and Mark Reid.

Throughout the year we have sustained our housing and support services at the same level but have observed with concern a steady increase in demand for our services, which reflects the increase in homelessness regionally and nationally. 731 referrals were submitted, with 87 of those coming from people who were reportedly sleeping rough.

We have been concentrating on our long-term strategy to explore and secure diverse funding streams and strengthen our financial stability.

We have been pro-active in working with partners, Durham County Council’s Affordable Housing Team and council members, to progress new development schemes which will enable us to extend the range of our service provision.

We have continued to grow our volunteer programme and we are grateful to all our volunteers who have helped enormously throughout the year. We are also grateful to the teams from EE, npower, Durham University, Emmanuel Church and Turner Townsend who have carried out corporate volunteering activities for us through the year.

Fund raising activities have included a market stall at Durham market in October and December, a Community Concert in November and a pop-up shop on North Road, Durham just before Christmas. We have also benefited from fund raising carried out by others including Durham University students and staff, local schools, local groups, businesses and various individuals.

Donations increased again last year and we are very grateful to all those who have contributed food, clothes and furniture or who have donated money to us online.

We owe our thanks to Durham County Council’s Adult and Health Services for their continued and invaluable financial support, guidance and help and would also like to thank Bernicia Homes for their long-term support at Harry Mears House.

Please see our Annual Report HERE