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Our Impacts and Testimonials

Community Centre & Café

I wouldn't be here without the Gatehouse, doesn't really convey just how important they really have been and continue to be. I'm really not exaggerating when I say that not only has the Gatehouse fed me, clothed me and kept me warm but they have also been one of the only truly consistent forms of emotional support that I've had over the last year
“All of the team at the Gatehouse who I have engaged with are remarkable and all share a unique quality that is ever so hard to define unlike many other charities and organizations of the same nature, the team at the Gatehouse have treated me like an individual and as an equal and never judged me for my needs and abilities or lack thereof”
“I found the Gatehouse Charity by chance I recall and left a voicemail message - only half expecting a response. A Caseworker telephoned and was an immediate tower of strength to me. She just blew in from nowhere and listened and empathized and gave me immediate relief. I just wanted you to know that, when a (client) and their parents need care and empathy which is very often hard to find, we truly found it at the Gatehouse; it has been and continues to be something of a lifeline to us.”
“No one ever sets out to become homeless, we are all only a few bad experiences away from it, and within work poverty, cost of living and energy prices more are pushed over the edge. This is not irredeemable. Each case is unique. With time, care and detailed work individuals can help themselves up and out. Back to an independent life they hope for.” – Experienced Gatehouse Volunteer

CEO Katrina Horne Guest Interviews

Casework Team

“Since being supported by the Gatehouse I do believe that not only my self-esteem has improved, my chances of employment have improved, my mental well-being has improved, and my all round feeling of positivity.”
“It was such a relief when I found out that there was an organisation like yours that have dedicated staff who want to go the extra mile.”
“With the help of the Gatehouse and caseworker I have managed to maintain my tenancy and now working with the council to sort out my rent arrears.”
“Thank you (Caseworker) for helping me out with finding donors for my immigration case. It has been a very long wait. I finally got a response from the lawyer and the application has been approved and granted by the home office I will know the full details tomorrow. And will update you. Blessings to you and your family.”

Women’s Hub

“I come to the women’s hub as it’s a safe place to talk.”
“I come to the women’s hub as I was feeling isolated.”
“Coming to the women’s group has given me confidence in being around people and being able to chat to other women.”


“You are not alone when you are part of LEAF and you can get your voice heard”
“LEAF is a positive place to be listening, sharing and making a difference”
“LEAF is a place where we can start bringing positive change from our lived experience”
“All those years on the street can be turned into something positive to help others because we know what it’s like and express it to those who have not lived it”
“Wow, where do I start!! LEAF are brilliant!! I am amazed how my life has changed in just 6/7 months. I do keep thinking is this really happening?!! Since you asked if I would like to be involved in LEAF, things keep getting better. I really enjoy contacting people who have been through a similar situation to me. When I say 'enjoy', I don't mean enjoy knowing that someone else has had a rough time but enjoy that hopefully from them talking to someone who also went through things that there is hope and a positive future no matter how far down the scale you have gone that things are achievable. LEAF have also made me feel that I am not a worthless case and have really helped with my confidence. When I first attended I felt that I had really messed up and lost everything but bit by bit my confidence grew, not only from LEAF but also other services. LEAF in particularly helped as I was given responsibility, LEAF have also offered training courses which I'm looking forward to. The Community Champions course we went on has also helped me become a volunteer with a local charity.”

CEO Katrina Horne Interviews LEAF member

Feedback from one of LEAF’s Coproduction partners

“I can't emphasise enough how important the involvement of LEAF is in this process - you are one of the few areas to be doing "genuine" involvement of lived experience in service development... This is very rare when you look at the other areas...”
Dr Michelle Cornes, Senior Research Fellow, Health and Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London

Snapshots of our bespoke support work with individual guests in 2023

During evening café, one client presented a file of eviction documentation under Section 21: a ‘no fault’ eviction. There was a very short timeframe to complete and return the necessary court papers which we achieved in the café setting with the support of a café volunteer who spoke the client’s first language. 
The client reported that there were no arrears or issues in the tenancy, but that the landlord simply wanted the property back. The client has significant health issues and upcoming operations that would be impacted if forced to sleep rough so we supported a request for the maximum postponement period for possession. It was also requested that the client not pay court fees due to the eviction being no-fault, financial hardship and understandable delays in finding alternative housing.
The Gatehouse signposted the client to the local authority for help with housing, and referred the client to a separate housing association as a longer term option. 
The client was supported with applying for Priority Need and was housed in temporary local authority provision. We then updated the housing association with evidence of the client’s priority status for housing which has shortened the client’s waiting time for longer term housing with this provider.
One client is vulnerable due to neuro diversity; they have been known to the service for a few years and we have supported them through a multi-disciplinary team approach over this time. Concerns of financial exploitation have historically been raised.
After a period of housing out of area, we received information from supporters that the client had returned to our local area: The Gatehouse immediately alerted their housing project and a Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting was called.
The client approached the Gatehouse with a concern that their ESA benefit had dropped; they were supported to contact ESA and were advised this drop was due to homelessness. 
Further information was requested and ESA sought support from their team management and contacted the client directly. The client’s continued homelessness was discussed: the client is acknowledged as in priority need and eligible, but separate local authorities were debating over who had this duty. The Gatehouse referred the client to a local solicitor. The client had been borrowing a friend's phone so we allocated a basic handset to support services to contact him. 
Following our referral for legal support with housing rights, the client was housed by the appropriate local authority.
Another client was previously a long-term rough sleeper and was supported into housing by the Casework Team. The client had always been independent and wished to initiate benefits claims themselves however they struggled to do this, and subsequently fell into rent arrears that threatened the tenancy. 
Through an in-person meeting, they were supported to set up direct payments to the landlord from their Universal Credit account. A charity request was made to support the arrears, a considerable amount of which were paid off.
One particularly vulnerable client was being financially exploited and their property taken advantage of. Joint working with the local public services ensured the property was made safe and arrests made to ensure the financial exploitation did not continue. The client was supported with engaging and working with the public services and advocating their needs.
One client who had been suffering from long term mental health needs was unable to sustain their tenancy and was finally evicted from their property and sleeping on the streets. By collaborating with other services and building up trust with the client they are now housed in a mental health supported housing project.
The Gatehouse supported one client with an online passport application and support to address housing needs. The client believed that they should be allocated as Band 2 on the local authority register. They were supported to call the local authority to confirm banding and were told that they had been allocated Band 4. Information was requested and it was discovered that a Band 2 request had not been actioned: this was subsequently actioned
immediately and the client was given Band 2. The client’s housing options are therefore now more positive.

Our impact at a glance 2023

  •  An increased range of services were delivered in 2023 including our café (six evenings a week), shower project, clothes store, practical and therapeutic workshops, computer access and advice, the Counselling service, one to one support from our Casework Team, the Lived Experience Advisory Forum, the Woman’s Space and The Write Place.
  • Directly reducing food and financial inequalities by serving 24,000 meals to over 500 individuals in 2023 in the Gatehouse café. The Gatehouse café supports people’s basic human needs, which every human has and many of us take for granted. The café is often the first step to a guest receiving tailored individual support.
  • Homelessness prevention by achieving 169 outcomes in supporting individuals to retain their housing and 33 outcomes in securing housing provision. Once people are ready, we support people to retain and gain housing. Safety and security is another basic human need which not everyone is fortunate to have.
  • Working alongside 135 external agencies to ensure a multi-agency approach and the best outcome for individuals needing the support. To support a whole person and their support needs, takes a community approach.
  • Reducing the stigma of lived experience by facilitating 22 Lived Experience Advisory Forum Meetings and working alongside 35 co-production partners and involving 263 LEAF members with lived experience. Being heard, having a purpose and being treated as an equal to co-produce services, can elevate and develop a person both personally and practically.
  • Around 3,000 positive outcomes delivered by the Casework Team one to one support, on a diverse range of practical and emotional needs.
  • The Casework Team one to one support worked with 200 individuals in 2023 and supported them to move on to independent living/ no longer need the service.
  • Supporting 15 individuals to increase their mental health and wellbeing via our counselling service across 190 personal counselling sessions.
  • Providing 361 shower sessions to our guests.
  • Working in partnership and external organisations and donors to facilitate over 6,000 practical provision items to Guests of the Gatehouse.
  • The social and community benefits of working alongside 350 volunteers equally approximately 15,000 volunteer hours in 2023.