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National awards for homelessness services

Homeless Link, the membership body for frontline homelessness services, has announced the winners of its annual Excellence Awards for 2023.  

The five Homeless Link Excellence Awards recognise the innovative and impactful work happening across the homelessness sector to support people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping in England.

The winners and highly commended entries demonstrated exceptional approaches to support. They represent frontline homelessness services of all types and sizes from across the country.

Homeless Link received 127 entries across the five categories this year.  The expert independent judges included Suzannah Young of the National Housing Federation; Sarah Faber of Big Issue Invest; Ross Watkins of Emmaus SLC; and Steve Benson, an independent consultant formerly of Two Saints. 

The judges were joined by four Homeless Link staff members to decide the stand-out category winners, which included:

The Marylebone Project which provides a life-changing supported housing service in London for vulnerable women in crisis;

– The Exeter Navigators, a team which provide a trauma-informed service for individuals experiencing severe and multiple disadvantages;

Providence Row which works with homeless and vulnerably-housed people in East London;

Porchlight in Kent which provides support for rough sleepers who are victims of modern slavery; and

Emmaus in Hertfordshire, which supports people experiencing homelessness by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives. Emmaus residents help to run ‘Out of the Emmaus Workshop’, which restores, upscales and sells furniture. 

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said: “From supporting women in crisis to empowering people with new skills that can lead to meaningful employment, Homeless Link’s annual Excellence Awards highlight the innovative, impactful and tireless work happening across the country to ensure that people have a place to call home and the support they need to keep it.   

“This year, as homelessness organisations tackle soaring demand and navigate cuts to funding, it feels more important than ever to recognise these efforts. Our winners and commended organisations are providing exceptional services, and it has been fantastic to see the difference our members are making to people experiencing and at risk of homelessness. 

“The sector has a crucial role to play in preventing and ending homelessness, and we hope in turn that the government will recognise this and grant a funding uplift for homelessness support – in line with inflation – to ensure that services can continue to provide vital support.”