News: Press Release - January 2019


Local Partnerships Working Together




Supported by Elmbridge Borough Council and Walton Charity, the ‘Hub’ will open daily Monday to Friday 10am – 2pm until the end of March hosted by Transform

Homeless charity Elmbridge Rentstart opened the borough’s first ‘Winter Hub drop-in’ service at premises in the borough managed  by Transform Housing & Support on Thursday 24 January 2019. The Hub will be open until at least the end of March, initially Monday to Friday, run by trained Elmbridge Rentstart staff.

Funded by grants from Elmbridge Borough Council and Walton Charity the Hub will offer attendees refreshments, hot freshly prepared food, areas to relax, watch TV, use computers or play board games, access to shower facilities and the premises also offers the ability to do laundry.

As well as a facility giving respite for individuals from the street, Elmbridge Rentstart staff are experts in assisting attendees with looking for suitable housing, identifying entitlement to benefits and opportunities for training or employment.

Transform Chief Executive, Lawrence Santcross said, “This is a great example of local partners working together and we are thrilled that Transform can provide the facility to house the Hub.”

Elmbridge Rentstart Chief Executive, Helen Watson said “We are really proud to have been asked to organise and run this really important new hub for the homeless or vulnerably housed community of Elmbridge who so very much need a safe and warm place to spend time across the coldest months of the year.”  Continuing “we hope that the whole community, who are very aware of the increase in homeless, lonely and isolated individuals, will support us by volunteering time and donating food to support the team at the Hub.”

In providing funding Jackie Lodge, Chief Executive at Walton Charity, agreed “sadly having seen a rise in rough sleeping across the borough, it was very easy to agree to fund this very important and potentially life changing project.”

Councillor Andrew Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Elmbridge Borough Council said “Elmbridge Borough Council is supporting a number of projects aimed at tackling homelessness in general and rough sleeping in particular.  The Council is pleased to support this project as it will help some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in our community and as well as meeting their basic needs, we see it as a means of helping them to move off the street for good”.

The Hub will make use of recent donations of non-perishable food from local foodbanks and toiletries collected by children from the North West Surrey Synagogue Sunday School. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to select items of clothing, including winter coats, trousers and workwear which have been donated by members of the community.

Initially open from 10am until 2pm each day the Hub will need volunteers to help support specially trained members of Elmbridge Rentstart staff, so the charity has set up a specific schedule* for individuals to offer their time in two or four hour blocks.

The Hub is open to all individuals who are homeless, vulnerably housed or sofa-surfing. If any residents, businesses or community organisations are aware of anyone who may benefit from attending, please do recommend them to make contact with us by telephone: 01372 477167 or email:  All users of the Hub will be required to complete a registration form.


For more information please contact:

Tracey Blandford,

Tel: 01372 477167 Email:


 * The project has funding support for three months duration.  However late March is considered the end of winter, so the project team will review the need for any continuation after the end of March.


* The link to the volunteering schedule is:

Volunteers will need to meet with an Elmbridge Rentstart team member before being accepted. If anyone has a valid DBS from another role please be prepared to bring this with you. No members of the community without a DBS would be left alone with any attendees.


Elmbridge Rentstart (UK) Ltd

Elmbridge Rentstart work with homeless and vulnerably housed people across the Borough of Elmbridge with the mission to ‘Break the cycle of homelessness’. They work not just to help people secure housing but also to rebuild their lives. The small team provides support and advice on everything from shopping, bill paying or accessing medical services through to finding and sustaining paid work.

During 2017-2018, they gave 440 people advice on housing; housed 150 people; supported 56 rough sleepers; and helped 62 people get back into work or training. In the last year, they saw a significant rise in the number of rough sleepers they had been able to support (from 27 to 56).

Elmbridge Borough Council

Elmbridge Borough Council has legal responsibilities in relation to the prevention and relief of homelessness and arranging temporary accommodation for certain categories of people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.  Its Homelessness Prevention & Advice Team provides information, advice and assistance to help residents resolve housing problems. They work in partnership with external agencies, including charities, to fund initiatives that can ease and assist with local homelessness.

Transform Housing & Support

Transform Housing & Support is a charity which helps people to reach their goals and live independent and fulfilling lives. They provide housing, support and homecare for more than 2,000 people each year, across Surrey and areas in West Sussex, Berkshire, Hampshire and south west London.

Walton Charity

Walton Charity is a responsive charity, working to improve the quality of life and life chances for local people.  They are supporting the ‘Winter Hub’ via their Community Grants programme which enables and supports local organisations to provide a wide range of services to people living in the Borough of Elmbridge.

For more information visit