Employees at housing association Catalyst have donated hundreds of items to charity The Upper Room for homeless and disadvantaged local people.

The donations from colleagues based at the Ealing office include 266 items of clothing and shoes, six sleeping bags and toiletries, and will go to people in west London.

Nicky Flynn, Chief Executive of The Upper Room, said: “We are indebted to organisations like Catalyst for these donations. Especially at this time of year, these gifts will be an invaluable resource to guests of The Upper Room.”

Ian McDermott, Chief Executive of Catalyst, said: “Charities like The Upper Room are vital in supporting people who are homeless, and Catalyst is proud to be working with them.

“There are many reasons why a person can become homeless. One of the fundamental factors is the lack of affordable housing. That’s why it’s important that we at Catalyst remain committed to building more affordable homes year on year, and play our part in tackling the UK’s housing crisis.”

The Upper Room began as a simple soup kitchen in 1990 and now runs three inter-linked projects. UR4Driving helps improve the employability of ex-offenders. Participants engage in personal development and are supported to do 80 hours of voluntary work and are supported to learn to drive and achieve a full driving licence. UR4Jobs is a multi-lingual project that helps destitute migrants and other disadvantaged groups to improve their employability and avoid homelessness and crime. They are supported to gain confidence and skills required to secure employment or apprenticeships.

UR4Meals serves a hot meal to around 50-80 guests per night and who are also provided with clothing, toiletries and other support. All its services are delivered for free and its mission statement is ‘improving lives’.

Kowsar Abdi, Youth Engagement Practitioner at Catalyst, said: “In the last three months, The Upper Room has supported six Catalyst residents towards getting a driver’s licence. So, it was great that we could give something back to them. Thank you to all the colleagues who donated items, and thank you to The Upper Room for supporting our residents.”


Notes to editors

More information on Catalyst:

  • Catalyst is one of the leading housing associations in London and the South East, managing over 21,000 rented and shared-ownership homes.
  • We are experts in placemaking and developing tenure-blind neighbourhoods, with a strategy in place that will see us build 1,000 homes a year by 2020. Our approach to creative design, effective urban planning and high quality development is underpinned by our long-term interest in our neighbourhoods. By adopting a stewardship role, we ensure that the places we help to create are well maintained, look great and remain desirable places to live. A prime example of Catalyst’s work is our flagship regeneration project in North Kensington, Portobello Square.
  • Catalyst Gateway, our social and economic investment arm, helps our communities grow with bespoke neighbourhood strategies that help deliver initiatives such as youth mentoring projects, after school homework programmes, exercise classes and much more. Catalyst Gateway also operates an individual offer to our most vulnerable residents, with services such as financial inclusion courses to help people with their money; parenting support classes for young families and employment courses for those out of work.
  • Our website: chg.org.uk