Essex Homelessness Charities Celebrate Success at Joint 20th Anniversary

Essex Homelessness Charities Celebrate Success at Joint 20th Anniversary

Two leading Essex homelessness charities are celebrating their 20th anniversaries this year by publishing a combined twenty stories, to bring to light the overwhelming positive impact their work has made on people affected by homelessness in the county over the last two decades.

Under the banner “Two Charities, 20 Years, 20 Stories”, HARP and CHESS will begin their campaign in September this year. In readiness, the charities are appealing to the public for stories of how the two charities have supported local people.

HARP, based in Southend-on-Sea, help around 1,000 local people every year to overcome or avoid homelessness by providing essential short-term emergency shelter, food, clothing and washing facilities, and longer-term supported housing. HARP’s aim is to empower people to take steps to leave homelessness behind and ultimately live independently in the community.

CHESS Homeless, based in Chelmsford, deliver support, accommodation and outreach services in 8 local authorities within Essex. CHESS offer an ‘end to end’ service to those that are either sofa surfing or street homeless. CHESS also work in partnership with Safer Places, a domestic abuse charity helping women to flee domestic abuse. CHESS’ mission is to ensure that people who find themselves homeless are supported in ways that enable them to move forward purposefully and in good health.

Michael Raffan, Chair of Trustees at HARP, said: “Reaching such an important milestone is a very proud moment for everyone currently at HARP, and all those in the past who have contributed to our work, whether volunteers, staff or trustees. I look forward to HARP and CHESS being able to share more about our respective history and development, and in particular the hugely positive impact both charities have made to people who became homeless in the Southend and Chelmsford areas, through this campaign after it launches in September.”

Rob Saggs, Chief Executive of CHESS, said: “Being able to offer support, accommodation and outreach services during these trying times is vital for the health of those that are homeless. We could not deliver the service that is offered without the support of our local communities, volunteers, Trustees and staff. Organisations like HARP and CHESS deliver so much more than a safe place to live, and support, care and commitment from all the teams involved ensure that those who want the help receive a life changing opportunity.”

If you or someone you know has been helped by HARP or CHESS over the years, and would be willing to speak to their team and have your story published, please contact or

Jamie Langstone