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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 2022

It was challenging for one guest to find appropriate housing due to facing multiple barriers. They were living in a car which increases their anxiety and depression. They were not classed as priority need so the Gatehouse connected them with housing legal advice. The guest was referred to our Counselling service which has been of great help and support to them. The continued legalities of the housing case are ongoing but they have a good rapport with the Gatehouse and they engage regularly for updates, and are given emotional and moral support whilst navigating complex external processes.
The Gatehouse recently supported a guest with a three-hour PIP assessment via telephone which finally awarded the client the highest award. They hope to buy a second hand mobility scooter with some of the funds, to help mobility and regain their independence in the community.
One guest was supported with exploring, and engaging with, befriending services; housing options, mental health services and liaison with their GP on occasions when there were concerns for their mental and physical health.
One particularly vulnerable guest lost their wallet with cards and bus pass and could not get home safely. The Gatehouse paid for and ordered a taxi to take them home. The housing provision was then contacted to check they got home safely and made a plan of action with the manager. A few days later the manager called to say the guest’s wallet had been found by a member of the public and handed in to the local council.
With on-going support throughout the process, another guest has now collected their keys for their new apartment and has just started a full time permanent contract for work. The client needed a new laptop: a successful referral has been made to Getting Oxfordshire Online.
Another guest had been long term homeless and lives with mental health needs. They wanted accommodation but they had been living outside for so long and didn’t know whether they could adapt to living in a property. We explored different housing options and set up meetings with housing providers alongside the guest. Many were not a good fit but eventually a provider who offered a self-contained flat and a 24-hour warden was secured. Finally, the guest moved in successfully. We are still supporting them with organising benefits and with managing and retaining a tenancy.
Another guest complained about considerable back pain and requested support in advocating their needs to their GP. After several weeks of liaising with the guest and the GP a home visit, blood tests and examinations were actioned which highlighted that they were in fact suffering with a spinal injury as a consequence of a recent fall. They received the appropriate follow on treatment.
The Gatehouse collaborated with another local charity supporting a guest with gaining the right legal support after their claim for asylum was denied. They were street homeless, unable to work or secure housing for 20 years in the UK. Thanks to the collaborative working approach and the generous external support with legal costs, their immigration application has been approved. This will be a life-changing outcome, opening new doors to work and housing.
One family received notice to leave their private tenancy due to the property needing to be sold. They registered with the local authority but the waiting list was extensive so in the interim, options were explored and the client was subsequently supported to secure the deposit and rent (from another local charity) in advance for a new private tenancy.
Via the community centre, several guests throughout 2022 who have fled from being victims of crime and exploitation have received clothing and foot ware parcels in emergency circumstances.

Our impact at a glance 2021

  • 9 different service area were delivered and adapted in 2021; the café (six evenings a week) the food and drink delivery service, the shower project, the practical provision project, the Counselling service, one to one support from our Casework Team, the Lived Experience Advisory Forum, the Woman’s Hub and The Write Place.
  • Directly reducing food and financial inequalities by serving 8368 meals to 444 individuals in 2021 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.
  • Further reducing food and financial inequalities by serving provision equivalent to 25,200 meals to 120 individuals in 2021 in the food and drink delivery service.
  • 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 80 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 11 Lived Experience Advisory Forum Meetings and working alongside 12 co-production partners. 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.
  • 7934 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 214 individuals in 2021 and supported 195 individuals to move on to independent living/ no longer need the service.
  • Supporting 10 individuals to increase their mental health and wellbeing via our counselling service.
  • Working in partnership and external organisations and donors to facilitate over 4000 practical provision items to Guests of the Gatehouse and those in the Oxford City Council temporary/move on accommodation.
  • The social and community benefits of working alongside 120 volunteers equally approximately 18,000 volunteer hours in 2021.