Become a Thames Reach Trustee

Use your expertise to help us end street homelessness

Become a Thames Reach Trustee

Thames Reach Group (Thames Reach Charity and Thames Reach Housing) are looking for new members of our two Boards of Trustees. As well as a commitment to ending street homelessness, and the ability to provide strategic oversight for the organisation, we are hoping to recruit members with specific skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • Services for people affected by rough sleeping
  • Health
  • Housing association compliance

This is an opportunity to be part of an organisation with an excellent reputation for delivering high quality services, and which is serious about working to end street homelessness.

Stephen Howard, Chair of the Thames Reach Board of Trustees, says: ‘Thames Reach is an organisation making a real and practical difference to people affected by homelessness. By joining as a Trustee, you can use your skills and experience to bring us closer to a society where street homelessness is ended and nobody need sleep rough on the streets.’

To speak to us about becoming a Thames Reach Trustee, please contact

For more information about the roles, please visit our list of current volunteering opportunities.

Support for homelessness recovery with Connect, Home, Aspire (CHA)

Megan is a support worker in the Connect, Home, Aspire (CHA) team, helping people recover from homelessness into suitable and stable accommodation

Support for homelessness recovery with Connect, Home, Aspire (CHA)

Content warning: non-graphic references to domestic violence

Megan is a support worker in the Connect, Home, Aspire (CHA) team, who provide a service for people with a range of support needs. The team help people get into suitable and stable accommodation, acting as a stepping stone between supported and private accommodation. Megan discusses the work she does, a significant part of which is keeping in regular contact with her clients, on the phone and in-person.

“I’ve been in the CHA team since joining Thames Reach in December 2021, when the service first started. I have a caseload of around 22 people I work with, who have been referred to us from other homelessness services in London, as well as other teams at Thames Reach. As a woman, most of the female survivors of domestic violence in the project will be in my caseload; this ensures our support is tailored to the individual’s past trauma.

“When I have been assigned a referral, I make contact by phone initially and then will often meet them in-person. It’s important to speak to people face-to-face for initial assessments, so we can cater to what they actually need, and understand their journey. We see people in a range of situations, and no two people are the same. If someone is currently rough sleeping, I will move my schedule around to prioritise them urgently.

“We work with a partner housing association, Cromwood, to house people in long-term, sustainable accommodation. We often have to advocate for people who are referred to us, and build the trust on both sides, once we are certain that the new flat being offered is the best option. Once an offer has been made, we meet with the housing officer and the new tenant at the property to sign the contract and pick up keys.

“It is at this point that our support packages really vary; although in CHA the people we work with have medium-to-high needs, this can vary between weekly to biweekly check-ins, potentially being less frequent as time goes on. In subsequent appointments we will work together to help them with a range of things including registering with a GP, setting up and accompanying them to appointments if necessary, and applying for grants and benefits.

“Promoting independence is essential in what we do, which can include establishing links to new and existing communities, and re-establishing links with family and friends.

“Connect, Home, Aspire is a pan-London service, and we get referrals from a wide range of places, so it is important that I schedule my time so I am spending as little time travelling as possible, visiting my clients who are local to each other in the same day. We play an active role in ensuring people are comfortable in their new accommodation and are integrating well into their daily life; we sometimes attend appointments at GPs, hospitals, courts and food banks with individuals so they feel represented and can build confidence in living more independently, after traumatic periods of their lives.”

Pioneering outreach: The legacy of London Street Rescue

Area Manager, Michael Murray, looks at the legacy of London Street Rescue and future provisions for street outreach in London

Pioneering outreach: The legacy of London Street Rescue

As a pioneering model of street outreach, the London Street Rescue (LSR) service will finish at the end of September, as the service has highlighted the demand for localised services to support people who are sleeping rough. Michael Murray, Area Manager, talks us through how the service worked, and discusses its legacy.

How London Street Rescue works

“London Street Rescue was commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to provide a pan-London outreach response, mainly to outer London boroughs, where there may be less resources available for people sleeping rough. Many of the areas we worked in didn’t have things like emergency accommodation, hostels, day centres and other key services, so staff had to be creative and often work independently, across multiple boroughs. Each of the five boroughs we now work in has one dedicated lead worker to ensure we can be more structured and efficient in our approach.

“We provide initial support by assessing someone for any local connection and needs, before doing everything needed to successfully end their rough sleeping, including: referring to suitable accommodation, obtaining ID documents to help them move on, supporting with welfare benefits, accessing health services and signposting for immigration support. As we are a response service to rough sleeping, we close a case once they have successfully moved off the street, and we ensure they have secured ongoing support elsewhere.”

How LSR have shaped the vision of ending rough sleeping

“Since the Rapid Response Outreach Team was commissioned, as part of a funding drive by central government to end rough sleeping by 2025, LSR have solely focussed on working with those living on the street.  Many of the boroughs we used to work in were successful in receiving bids to fund their own outreach response, many of them now delivered by Thames Rreach oureach teams. ”

The future of outreach after LSR

“LSR has had a reputation as one of the leading outreach teams in London for many years and the service has seen many changes. I think the support available for rough sleeping in London has never been better and this is why we’re in a position where London no longer requires a service like LSR.  There is still a lot of work to be done and the environment is ever-changing, which could bring new challenges.  Most boroughs now have the resources to provide their own dedicated response. The four boroughs we support in South-East London decided to make a joint bid for an outreach team and were successful.  The GLA are keen for there to be no gap in service provision after LSR formally ends, so it has been agreed that Thames Reach will deliver the new south-east outreach team, due to start on 1 October.  

Bill Tidnam, Chief Executive at Thames Reach, also reflects on its legacy:

“The key legacy of of LSR is that it delivered outreach across London to boroughs that didn’t have their own outreach teams, and by doing so identified the demand that led to boroughs commissioning their own services and understanding the responsibility for rough sleeping, and providing solutions on a local level. Supported by central government funding, this has been a key part of the improvement in the response to people sleeping rough over the last three years.”

Bill Tidnam speaks about rough sleeping stats in government panel discussion

Thames Reach Chief Executive, Bill Tidnam, spoke at the government’s ‘Delivering Together to End Rough Sleeping’ event on 1 March 2022.

Bill Tidnam speaks about rough sleeping stats in government panel discussion

New figures released by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) show the numbers of people sleeping rough have fallen for the fourth year in a row, with a 9% decrease from this time last year. The whole of England saw this decrease, but it is estimated that the biggest drop in numbers was found in London, with around 10% fewer people than autumn 2020.

While these numbers are initially encouraging, an online event on 1 March chaired by Eddie Hughes MP stressed that there is more work to be done.

As part of this event, Thames Reach Chief Executive Bill Tidnam featured on the government’s ‘Delivering Together to End Rough Sleeping’ panel, alongside Eddie Hughes MP, Minister for Housing and Rough Sleeping; Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester; and Kath Wallace, Divisional Manager of Liverpool City Council. They discussed the recent statistics, with all panellists agreeing on the importance of prevention services and suitable housing solutions to not only ensure that numbers continue to decrease, but that we can intervene and support people before the traumatic experience of street homelessness occurs.

During the panel, Bill was asked about best practices for supporting people with complex needs, asserting the importance of patience, flexibility, and working with an individual to see what routes and services are best for them. The need to help people with no recourse to public funds was also a key part of the discussion, with everyone celebrating the success of ‘Everyone In’, viewing it as a framework to take forward in the mission to end rough sleeping.

Kath Wallace and Andy Burnham also spoke about community efforts, that rough sleeping is an issue that can be resolved through communities being strengthened as well as specialist input. At Thames Reach, we know the value of communities, not only in terms of helping an individual away from street homelessness, but in how hubs and groups can be excellent ways to work with people at risk of street homelessness, to engage with them outside of traditional services or buildings that may be a daunting prospect for some.