About Beacon House

Beacon House Ministries is a Christian charity that was established to help homeless people, those in insecure accommodation and those at high risk of homelessness. Beacon House offers a wide range of support services providing a necessary and vital lifeline to people who are homeless or in vulnerable tenancies. We provide practical support: showers, food, clothing and a nurse-led clinic. We aim to support people with a range of creative and personalised activities to get them into housing and employment.

Providing support services

We provide a drop-in service for homeless people and those living in temporary or insecure housing. Services on site include: showering facilities, laundry, clothing & toiletries. We have a cafe open from 10am – 1.30pm offering hot food and drinks. In addition we offer life skills classes including IT, CV writing, support around cooking and budgeting, counselling, an IT suite, art and crafts room, games and drop-in support from other agencies.

Providing healthcare

We provide primary healthcare services to people who are homeless, in insecure accommodation or at risk of homelessness in Colchester, Essex. The health needs of this community, which is approximately 550 people per year, include access to health services, physical health, mental health, drugs and alcohol support, vaccination and screening. We undertake health and well-being assessments for all new clients and measure and monitor their engagement using ten nationally recognised outcomes.

Why the community needs us

We work with people who are excluded from mainstream society. We support people to access housing by working with them to overcome the barriers caused by their chaotic lifestyles and complex needs. We work closely with the JobCentrePlus social inclusion coaches who work in premises each week. Our clients have been identified as having entrenched issues that may affect worklessness and our environment has been recognised as one that encourages acceptance, empowerment and change.

Our impact on the community

550 people accessed our services during 2015/16.  We work in close partnership with the DWP and local JobCentrePlus to ensure that there are person-centered pathways in to employment and have added two Work Ready coaches to our staff to help with job applications, attending interviews, opening bank accounts etc. Our in-house registered nurse is now trained and able to prescribe medicines, providing yet another service to reduce the pressure on GP clinics and we have increased our number of computers by 25%, as part of our digital inclusion agenda for our service users. We also continue in collaboration with several other support agencies who work from our building and provide support to reduce substance misuse, reduce offending, improve training and employment opportunities and improve money management.

Beacon House is a registered charity (Registered Charity No. 1055109).