NBRN partners helped keep COVID out of hostel for homeless

Read how a large homeless hostel in the London Borough of Newham has received support from the National Business Response Network.

One of the country’s largest homeless hostels has been able to shield residents through the pandemic thanks to donations made through the National Business Response Network (NBRN).

Caritas Anchor House provides support to homeless adults in the London borough of Newham, which has the highest rate of homelessness in the UK. 

Recruiting more staff and extra cleaning kept the infection risk inside the building to a minimum, but more help was needed.

Andrew Warburton, corporate partnerships specialist at Caritas Anchor House, said: “It was important to reduce the amount people needed to venture out into the local area as the COVID rate was very high. As well as PPE, we needed basic items like food and toiletries.”

Andrew contacted the NBRN, a Business in the Community (BITC) programme set up during the first national coronavirus lockdown to offer rapid response to vulnerable communities.

A host of businesses stepped up to answer the call. Donations ranged from face shields from the insurer Axa, T-shirts from Marks & Spencer and Easter eggs from Nestlé, through to biscuits from McVities, face masks from infrastructure specialists Costain, disposable cups from coffee chain Costa and bao buns courtesy of train operator LNER. Charity Relief Aid Logistics were also on hand to deliver the items from donor to doorstep.

Andrew said: “Knowing there was support out there from these businesses was a huge boost to residents’ morale.

“More than a year into the pandemic we have not had one confirmed case of COVID among our residents. It’s nothing short of miraculous.”

The NBRN connects businesses with UK community organisations to co-ordinate the resources and expertise required to help them build back. It has already made more than 3,000 connections.

Visit the National Business Response Network’s (NBRN) platform and pledge your support.

If you would like to request support please visit the National Business Response Network (NBRN) platform.