RT @angrymaggie: The rate of homelessness in Birmingham is shameful. No one should have to freeze this winter. https://t.co/DIi9BU8AC5 via …
RT @jrf_uk: Today there are more than 1.7m children living in #ukpoverty - new #mpseuk15 @npi_research https://t.co/XwcZ0PhBvU https://t.co…
RT @CanterburyChoir: Spotify playlist available of some of the pieces we'll be performing for @CatchingLives 6 Dec - Enjoy! :-) https://t.c…
RT @AudreyBanks: 2.5 weeks to go until my first marathon! Sponsor me for @CatchingLives at https://t.co/9KUb848PqE
RT @AudreyBanks: I am doing my first full Marathon for @CatchingLives ! Please sponsor this worthy cause. #ukrunchat #fundraising https://…
@AudreyBanks will be running the Florence Marathon, later this month, to raise money for us. Support her here https://t.co/NJSJ7YivWR
RT @GlassDoorLondon: Demand for shelter swells on opening day https://t.co/Xykh3Yy1TC
RT @kentpsychsoc: Tomorrow evening we have a Tuesday Talk with @CatchingLives, who will give details on the work they do and volunteering a…

About Us

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:

  • Food (Breakfast, Lunch, Food Parcels and referrals to the Canterbury Food Bank).
  • Laundry; 2 Washing Machines, 2 Condenser Tumble Dryers and we supply the detergent. Clients are responsible for doing their own laundry.
  • Toilets and Showers (We supply a variety of toiletries and clean towels)
  • Storage (Rough sleepers have access to a small area wherein they can store belongings that they can’t carry with them; or are particularly personally valuable)
  • Postal Address (essential for claiming benefits, looking for work, or registering with a GP).
  • Use of a Telephone
  • IT suite (Computers and internet access)
  • Mental Health Outreach Service
  • Advocacy and Advice Services which include specialist advice on:
    • Homelessness
    • Housing
    • Welfare Benefits
    • Income Tax
    • Domestic Abuse
  • Access to ESOL lessons and literacy classes
  • A variety of structured activities (inc. Film Club, relaxation classes, gardening)
  • Signposting to all manner of agencies.
  • Canterbury Community Shelter

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.

 What we do.

Registered Co. no. 02719436                                                            Reg. Charity no. 1014868

Trustee Profiles


Dennis Evans

 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.


 Alun Rowland

 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.


Glennis Turrell

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.


Kathryn Rogers

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

support us

Find out how you can contribute towards tackling homelessness in Canterbury and East Kent.

Steve’s story

Catching Lives has helped many hundreds of clients to get of the streets and change their lives. Here is one of their stories.
Read Steve's Story