What is Catching Lives?
Catching Lives is an independent charity aimed at supporting the rough sleepers, homeless and vulnerably housed in Canterbury and East Kent; those who have, for many reasons, fallen through the gaps in society and feel they have nowhere else to turn.
Our vision is of a society where all are included and all, no matter how disadvantaged, can make a contribution. Catching Lives works towards ending the harm caused to individuals, families and the community, by homelessness, rough sleeping and insecure housing. We do this by offering immediate respite at our project in Canterbury: the Canterbury Open Centre. In addition to this, we work with our clients to help them to tackle any issues that they may have, get access to suitable accommodation and find the motivation to take steps towards personal recovery and independent living.
To this end, a combination of several different types of interventions are available on site; basic services such as nutritious meals, showers laundry, clothing and a postal address; health services providing access to the Mental Health Outreach Service, assistance in registering with a GP; referral to specialist for further care; social and emotional support offering a listening ear, pastoral care and crisis recovery support; advice, advocacy and referral, giving housing and benefits advice, amongst others; work, learning and meaningful activities engaging in recreational and community activities, literacy and numeracy support.
Below is a list of the services we provide:
Catching Lives also works within the community to educate and raise awareness of the issues and barriers faced by the people we help.
As a charity we rely on donations, volunteers and fundraising from within the local community to help us make a difference and improve not just the lives of the visitors we see but the wider community through reduced rough sleeping, crime and anti-social behaviour.
Registered Co. no. 02719436 Reg. Charity no. 1014868
My name is Dennis Evans and I have been a trustee of Catching Lives, for a total of 9 years. I am currently vice chairman of the board of trustees. I have responsibility for building development and repairs. If and when help is needed generally, I assist in any way I can.
I was recommended to the charity by the Rev Nicolas Stacy. Charitable work seemed a really good way to utilise what skills I had for a very worthwhile cause.
I have experience in several businesses, but for the last thirty two years in property development.
I have been a trustee since 2012 and am currently treasurer. I came into contact with Catching Lives back in 2010 and was immediately impressed at the holistic approach taken with clients which thereby helps in turning around their lives.
I was pleased to be asked to become a trustee and thereby have an impact in how Catching Lives is run and helping to make a difference. I am a retired civil servant.
I have worked for many years in the fields of primary, secondary and adult education.
Working at local, national and international level, my time has been committed working with children and young adults from low socio economic backgrounds with complex and multiple needs, striving to give equality of opportunity and quality of care and education to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people.
This has involved working closely with education authorities, social services, foster carers and the probation service within different towns and cities across the UK .
I have been Director of Specialism within the Arts for special schools and act as consultant for staff working with children and young adults with challenging behaviour and those who have suffered from trauma.
I lead the Volunteer Charitable Trusts and Foundations Working Group working in partnership with Trusts to secure applications for future funding in support of projects at the Open Centre, needed to sustain our service delivery.
I have just joined the Catching Lives’ Board as a trustee and bring experience in charity governance, HR and service development
I think that it is vitally important to support and listen to people at really vulnerable points in their lives and the work of Catching Lives means so much to homeless people in Canterbury. I’m volunteering as a trustee to bring my skills and experience to help Catching Lives with this vital work
I live in Canterbury. I am the Chief Executive of Bechange, a charity supporting adults in Dover District