CRASH and VolkerFitzpatrick transform the dining room for homelessness charity Caritas Anchor House in London.

Caritas Anchor House (CAH) is a homelessness charity based in the London Borough of Newham, which has the highest levels of homelessness in the country. A beacon of hope in the community, CAH helps over 200 people a year to turn their lives around providing accommodation and life-skills support for single homeless adults.

The charity is proud to be more than just a roof over the heads of the 140 people who call CAH home. From tailored guidance and personal rehabilitation to education, employment, and community building opportunities, CAH ensures that their residents can grow in confidence and move towards leading independent, self-fulfilling lives.

The need

Following the successful completion of their stunning communal lounge in 2019, Caritas Anchor House applied to CRASH for assistance with refurbishing their dilapidated dining room, which was looking very tired and outdated. Staff noticed that whilst residents cook in the kitchen, they prefer to eat their meals in their rooms rather than the dining room, which was not fit for purpose.

James McNicholas, Trusts Manager at Caritas Anchor House, explained why the works to the dining room were so important:

“We needed a dining facility that would allow residents to enjoy healthy meals they prepared in the kitchen and limit expensive, unhealthy takeaways. We often address high levels of isolation and low self-esteem, so this new space will significantly improve how our clients feel about and value themselves. The new dining room will be an additional social space for people who are experiencing homelessness and improve self-reported feelings of mental and physical wellbeing.”­­­­­

The solution

CRASH Corporate Patron VolkerFitzpatrick came to the rescue and led this major transformational project. With fellow patrons, Arcadis, Dulux Trade, Knauf, Sunbelt Rentals and Taylor Wimpey, they worked together to remodel the space completely. Many supporting companies also contributed their professional expertise and products to complete the transformation of the dining room at CAH.

The works included the supply and installation of a new ceiling and lighting system, new flooring, installation of new external windows, removal of a storeroom and creation of a larger food storage room in a much better location. Finally, the new space was redecorated throughout, furnished and zoned, creating a fresh and inspiring environment for residents.

The impressive transformation of the dining room at Caritas Anchor House.


How CRASH Corporate Patrons helped

The total value of support for the project was an impressive £74,220

  • £59,220 of assistance from CRASH Corporate Patrons and supporting companies donating professional services and construction products
  • £15,000 cash grant awarded by CRASH

This project followed CRASH’s successful refurbishment of Caritas Anchor House’s lounge in 2019 where the total value of assistance was an incredible £155,602. To date, the combined value of support across both the lounge and dining room projects came to a massive £229,822. The money and resources the charity saved on these much-needed construction projects significantly reduced the financial burden on the charity so that they could focus their resources on doing what they do best, supporting homeless adults in their community of Newham.

You can read more about the lounge refurbishment HERE.

The social impact

Amanda Dubarry, Chief Executive at Caritas Anchor House, said:

“Our old dining room was simply not fit for purpose. It was pretty shabby and dated, with poor heating and lighting, and was not a welcoming space so was not well-used by our residents or staff. The refurbishment has absolutely transformed the space! It’s now a bright, fresh, clean, modern and pleasant space, and will be used for meals, socialising (when COVID restrictions allow) and informal meetings. It also provides a relaxed workspace for residents who are studying.

In addition, we have a brilliant new food store supporting our on-site food bank which will allow us to properly and hygienically store donated food for our residents. We couldn’t be happier with our beautiful new dining room – thank you CRASH, VolkerFitzpatrick and all of the CRASH Corporate Patrons and supply chain partners who have helped to make this transformation possible. Your work will benefit hundreds of lives every year for years to come.”

Francesca Roberts, Chief Executive at CRASH, said:

“This project is a wonderful example of social impact in action. Thank you to CRASH Corporate Patron VolkerFitzpatrick for leading this project and to all our patrons and supporters involved. You should feel incredibly proud that you have made a huge difference to the homeless people who call Caritas Anchor House home, now and in the future.”

If your company would like to get involved in a future CRASH project and demonstrate your commitment to social impact, please contact Francesca Roberts at or 0208 742 0717.

© Photos by Mike O’Dwyer