Thames Reach join Prince William’s homelessness project ‘Homewards’

We are proud to be invited as an expert partner for the new Homewards initiative, aiming to end homelessness

Thames Reach join Prince William’s homelessness project ‘Homewards’

On Monday, Thames Reach Area Director, Isobel McKenna, was included in a roundtable with HRH Prince William to discuss the homelessness crisis, launching the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Homewards initiative. The delivery and impact of the project will include: National Expert Panel (for credibility and expertise), Activators (for resources and investment), Sector Partners (for learning and knowledge), and Advocates (for profile and reach).

Lambeth is one of Homewards’ six flagship locations, and due to our partnership work in the borough supporting people experiencing homelessness, we are an invited member of the Lambeth coalition, and will lend our expertise to the five-year project, details of which will be revealed in due course. Various organisations across the private and public sectors, as well as people with lived experience, come together with the shared mission of ending homelessness. We support this collaborative effort, with its goal of making the experience of homelessness “rare, brief, and unrepeated.”

We are honoured to be part of this exciting project, and look forward to sharing progress throughout the five-year process.

Funding boost for night shelters welcomed

A funding boost for night shelters from the government will allow our outreach teams to help people quicker

Funding boost for night shelters welcomed

The Department for Levelling Up has announced a funding boost to the Night Shelter Transformation Fund, which will see increased provisions for people sleeping rough. This will include emergency night shelters used by our street outreach workers, who are out across London 365 nights a year, finding and supporting people sleeping rough. 

Street outreach is a key part of the work we do towards ending street homelessness, and we welcome this new funding. Having an available offer of emergency accommodation is critical, but it is only the start of a journey away from the street. Having suitable secure accommodation and support is key if we are to help people make a permanent and successful move away from homelessness.  

The full statement on the additional funding can be found on the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities website.


New figures show small decrease in people sleeping rough in London

New figures show a small decrease on people sleeping rough, but there is more work to be done

New figures show small decrease in people sleeping rough in London

New figures from the GLA’s CHAIN database, which records the work of street outreach teams supporting people sleeping rough, show a slight decrease in the numbers of people seen on the streets in January to March this year from the previous quarter. However, numbers are still up from the equivalent quarter in 2022.  

The reasons for this are complex, but clearly the cost-of-living crisis, unaffordable housing, and unclear immigration issues lie behind this increase, alongside the many other reasons people find themselves street homeless, including support needs around mental health, drugs, or alcohol, and moving through the criminal justice system. 

We continue to work hard to find people who are on the streets and to get them into shelter, with our teams out every night seven days a week across London and East Surrey. However, if we are to meaningfully tackle street homelessness, we need to be able to focus on prevention.  

Prevention is an essential part of reducing street homelessness and can take many forms including working with people experiencing mental illness to ensure they can maintain their tenancies and find work. Community outreach also helps us engage with people who may not know where to turn to receive the right support, often in community and faith hubs, and food banks. 

COVID, Brexit, and the cost-of-living crisis, have hit some people in London much harder than others, and as such they are placed at a much higher risk of street homelessness. Thames Reach will continue to work to develop personalised responses and plans to help people affected by street homelessness to take control of their lives away from the streets. 


Charlotte walks the Thames for Thames Reach!

Charlotte is walking 376km along the Thames in aid of Thames Reach

Charlotte walks the Thames for Thames Reach!

As you may have seen on ITV News recently, we are delighted that our fundraiser, Charlotte, is taking on a walk along the Thames, 376km from source to sea, to raise awareness and funds for our work ending street homelessness.

Charlotte’s journey began over the weekend, and she is documenting her adventure every day over on Instagram, which has already seen flooding, animal chases and being covered in mud. As well as the physical challenge (she has walked the equivalent of two marathons in three days so far!), she is living off £10 a day, which will include her costs for food and pitching at a campsite, to further highlight the reality of homelessness.

We will be catching up with her once she is back and rested, but in the meantime join us in cheering her on through Instagram, and by sponsoring her JustGiving page.

Thank you for taking on this incredible challenge, Charlotte, on behalf of Thames Reach and all the people we work with!


Ealing Move-On Team compete in Tough Mudder

Thames Reach’s Move-On team based in Ealing competed in the Tough Mudder challenge to raise money for people affected by digital exclusion

Ealing Move-On Team compete in Tough Mudder

Over the weekend, members of the Ealing Move-On team competed in the famous Tough Mudder, in order to raise funds for the people they work with facing digital exclusion. Diana, a senior practitioner in the team, discussed how the day went:

“The team got together at the start of the day, excited and nervous for the task ahead.

“We kept doing fundraising calls until the last minute! We have received great support form our colleagues at Thames Reach, friends, family, colleagues from partner organisations and the local authority.

“Once we reached the grounds, it got real, there was no way back, we all started feeling the energy and enthusiasm of the event; all our belongings were dropped off, including phones. Then it was only us, together as a team, warming up on the starting line.

“One by one, the barbed wire, the muddy slopes, the running on the mud, the jumping of fences, the frozen, icy waters and rope pyramids, the electric obstacles, united us together as a team.  It tested phobias, fears and most importantly it showed us that we could conquer it all, working together, supporting each other through hard times. The experience reminded us that we were doing this for the people we work with, who face so many difficulties, inequalities, and loneliness.

“We finished all muddy, soaking wet and very proud for the conquering of 5K Tough Mudder.

“We were so tired afterwards, and struggled to find a ride to the nearest station, until a miracle happened and we managed to get a taxi. Instead of taking payment for carrying our muddy selves, he asked to donate the price of the fare to the fundraising page. This man warmed our hearts with an act of kindness and selflessness, which is needed in these testing times, and was a heartwarming and hopeful end to such an amazing day.”

Well done to the team for completing the muddy challenge: Jernel, Winston, Marie, Diana, Sylvia and Ishmael.

If you would like to donate, head to their JustGiving page.

If you have been inspired to fundraise for Thames Reach’s work ending street homelessness, please visit our fundraising page.

Walking from London to Paris to help end street homelessness

Luke took on a solo fundraising mission of a staggering 302km walk from London to Paris in aid of Thames Reach

Walking from London to Paris to help end street homelessness

Last month, Luke undertook the huge challenge of a solo sponsored walk from London to Paris. An entirely self-guided, self-initiated effort, he walked over 300km to raise money for our work helping to end street homelessness. We caught up with him after a well-earned rest to hear how it went!

London to Paris is an incredible feat to achieve on foot. Can you talk us through how it went day by day?

I walked out my front door at 3:30am, and spent the next five days walking all the way to the French capital, a total of 302km. The longest day was 95km from my home in south west London to Newhaven on the south coast. That day was a real challenge, taking a total of 22 hours, and had an elevation similar to climbing Snowdon.

A few hours into day one, it really hit home that my boots were not “worn in”, and my feet were in a lot of pain. Every step was hurting, which was making the challenge much harder.

Day two was a ferry ride from Newhaven to Dieppe. The few hours on the ferry allowed me to recover after the mammoth first day. I then made an impromptu visit in passing to a sports shop in Dieppe, where I bought some new trainers to use instead of the boots that were causing a lot of pain. As a stroke of fortune, these fit perfectly and I wore them for the rest of the trip. Having seen a snippet of Dieppe, I’ve decided I definitely want to visit properly someday.

The next three days then blurred into one 3-day long period of walking through lots of farmland in glorious spring sunshine, listening to podcasts and eating baguettes and an inhuman amount of trail mix.

I finally arrived in Paris to be greeted at the finish line by my two sisters, shortly followed by some much needed hot food and a glass of wine.

What support did you get from Thames Reach in the lead up to the event?

Thames Reach were very supportive, providing some really positive encouragement prior to the event. They kindly provided a couple of event t-shirts that I made great use of.

What inspired you take on a fundraising challenge for Thames Reach specifically (and such an extreme one at that!)?

The sheer size and visibility of the problem of homelessness in London is staggering. The statistics of the number of people who don’t have a home is truly shocking, and shouldn’t exist in this country.

After a few years of occasionally volunteering for Thames Reach in outreach as part of the Rapid Response Team, I wanted to make a contribution in a different way.

With charities constantly facing tough trade-offs in use of resources, supporting with a financial contribution can make a real difference to the people who rely on the services Thames Reach provides.

What was the highlight of the event for you?

Although I love walking and being outdoors, arriving in Paris was far and away the highlight. My feelings were a combination of a large sense of achievement… as well as a huge dose of relief that I could finally stop walking and rest!

If you are inspired by Luke’s incredible fundraising activity, head to our Support Us page and be part of the journey towards ending street homelessness.

His JustGiving page is still live if you would like to show your support. Click here to follow his journey.


What is it like to take part in a Challenge Event?

We spoke with Jenny, who ran the Hackney Half Marathon in 2019 in aid of Thames Reach. Now that the weather is improving and events are opening up again, we asked her how she kept up her motivation for this fantastic race.

What is it like to take part in a Challenge Event?

Which challenge did you take part in, and how did you prepare?

I ran the Hackney Half Marathon in May 2019, in aid of Thames Reach’s work. I trained regularly for several months building up to it, increasing my running distances gradually up to around ten or eleven miles. The run on the day is always easier because you’ve got all the support and buzz of the event, which helped me to make it those last few miles on the day!


What inspires you about Thames Reach’s work? 

I’ve been an outreach volunteer with the Rapid Response Team for more than two years now and so I’ve seen first-hand the importance of Thames Reach’s work in supporting people into accommodation and helping them to rebuild their lives. I really appreciate how Thames Reach approaches each client as an individual and without judgement, and the passion that the staff have for the work that they do.

What did you enjoy about the challenge, and would you recommend it to others?

I would definitely recommend the event; there was an amazing buzz on the day in the festival village and all the way round the course. My lasting memory of the day was just after mile 8 when my legs were starting to get a bit tired, I met two women (just members of the public) who were giving out sweets and cheering everyone who passed with incredible enthusiasm! I think that encounter really captured the spirit of the event, it had such a great community feel and positive spirit. It was amazing to be a part of it.

If you’ve been inspired by Jenny’s story and are passionate about ending street homelessness, check out our challenge events and register your interest today. Upcoming scheduled events include the London Duathlon and the London to Brighton Bike Ride, both taking place in September 2021.

Fundraise for Thames Reach with the Prudential RideLondon!

The virtual event allows fundraisers to ride 19, 46 or 100 miles in their own time to help end street homelessness

Fundraise for Thames Reach with the Prudential RideLondon!


– Free event on 15 and 16 August gives people chance to celebrate cycling and raise crucial funds for charity
– My Prudential RideLondon enables cyclists to take part in world’s greatest festival of cycling wherever they are

Participants who wish to ride for Thames Reach need to register in advance and select their challenge at The site will also provide a link to Virgin Money Giving where they can set up their fundraising page.

The first ever virtual edition of Prudential RideLondon – the world’s greatest festival of cycling – will take place on 15 and 16 August (the event weekend) to celebrate cycling and raise funds to help save the UK’s charities.

Thames Reach, like many other charities, has been hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic as fundraising events such as Prudential RideLondon have been either postponed or cancelled.

My Prudential RideLondon offers Thames Reach supporters, of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to take part in a fantastic challenge and raise crucial funds for our charity.

It is an exciting, free event that can be done anywhere in the world. It offers people the chance to tackle a range of distances based on the events included in the traditional Prudential RideLondon weekend.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of Prudential RideLondon, said: “After the disappointment of the cancellation of Prudential RideLondon, we were determined to create something special for our riders, partners and the hundreds of charities that rely on the event for vital income.

“My Prudential RideLondon is building on the success of The 2.6 Challenge – created following the postponement of the London Marathon – which became the biggest collective fundraising effort in the world involving nearly 4,000 charities.

“Charities desperately need help to continue to provide vital services to every sector of society and fund critical research. In this socially distanced world, it’s also vitally important to encourage people to get on two wheels rather than use public transport. The My Prudential RideLondon campaign has been created to achieve both these aims.

“My Prudential RideLondon is completely free and offers a fundraising challenge for everyone, whether that’s an amateur rider doing 100 miles or a family enjoying a 1km bike ride together. It can be done wherever you are and at any time on 15 or 16 August. Whatever you do, we urge you to raise funds for a charity of your choice – and have fun!”

Bill Tidnam, Chief Executive at Thames Reach said: “The pandemic has Thames Reach twofold in the last few months; not only have many of our fundraising activities been cancelled due to social distancing measures, but there has been a significant increase in the demand for our services, with many more people coming onto the street and a need to find more permanent housing for those who have been in emergency accommodation. My Prudential RideLondon is a fantastic way of supporting worthy causes, it will make a real difference when it is needed most urgently and we’re delighted to be involved with such a great event.”

How it works

My Prudential RideLondon includes four challenges for all ages and abilities that participants can do on a route of their choice, wherever they are in the world, on either 15 or 16 August:

– My Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100: 100-mile ride
– My Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46: 46-mile ride
– My Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 19: 19-mile ride
– My Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle: An event that allows you to set your own challenge (starting from 1km) on the wheels of your choice: bikes, push scooters, skateboards, trikes, balance bikes, roller skates, wheelchairs or anything that is self-propelled (e-bikes are fine too).

Once signed up, participants will be able to download the new My Prudential RideLondon app in event week. This will give every participant and supporter a unique ride day experience, including:

– A GPS function that enables friends and family to follow a rider’s progress on the virtual Prudential RideLondon route
– Creation of a personalised Prudential RideLondon certificate that shows the rider’s completed route and ride time
– Selfie frames to give riders personalised Prudential RideLondon finisher photographs
– Direct donation button through to each rider’s Virgin Money Giving fundraising page

In addition, every rider aged over 18 who registers will have the option of being entered into a fantastic competition that has 25 top-quality prizes available including a brand new Brompton Bicycle valued at more than £1,000, a HIGH5 nutrition bundle worth £250 and top-of-the-range cycling equipment including a SRAM groupset and Zipp wheels.

Participants are asked to follow current Government guidelines on cycling. For more information, click here.

Prudential RideLondon first took place in 2013 as a legacy event from the London 2012 Olympics. In its first seven editions, it has become the world’s greatest festival of cycling, with 100,000 riders of all ages and abilities participating in seven different events on traffic-free roads in London and Surrey. It has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to take up cycling or cycle more often and a total of more than £77 million has been raised for thousands of charities.

Thames Reach taking part in the World’s Big Sleep Out

Thames Reach to participate in global fundraising event

Thames Reach taking part in the World’s Big Sleep Out

Thames Reach are proud to be one of the charities supporting World’s Big Sleep Out, a global event taking place on 7th December to raise funds and awareness for the issue of homelessness.

The World’s Big Sleep Out will see fundraising events take place in towns and cities across the world. The campaign aims to see a total of 50,000 people sleeping out in parks and squares their respective cities on the same night.

Registration to join the event will open to the public in early September, and each applicant will commit to fundraising as much as they can to help tackle homelessness.

Further details on the World’s Big Sleep Out campaign will be announced later this year. You can find out more at

Bill Tidnam, Thames Reach Chief Executive, said:It’s right that people are concerned about homelessness and the dreadful and lasting impact that it has on people’s lives.  The World’s Big Sleep Out is an opportunity to come together to raise money that will help individuals affected by homelessness; but also to show our government and governments across the world that this is a crisis that we need to work together to solve.”