SPEAR community development programme

Halcrow Foundation is funding a project run by London-based charity SPEAR that supports people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, helping them develop the skills they need to live more independent lives.

Rough sleepers

Homelessness in the UK has increased in recent years. There were 170 per cent more rough sleepers in London in 2019/20 compared to nine years earlier, and the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed these numbers even higher. People living on the streets lead chaotic lives and struggle with a range of issues including poor mental and physical health and addictions, as well as low levels of literacy and numeracy. A lack of basic life skills also makes managing homes and jobs much harder.

SPEAR runs a project that allows people to build their confidence, learn new skills and increase their employability. The charity uses peer support, where some employees and volunteers have experienced homelessness themselves, to help beneficiaries access adult education and job opportunities, and give them life skills training such as cooking, budgeting, understanding the digital world, and confidence-building activities. Halcrow Foundation funds are enabling 50 people to access this programme, giving them the opportunity to move on from homelessness.

Rebuilding lives

Sarah Affleck, SPEAR Fundraising Manager, said, “Your support is vital to enable us to assist the most vulnerable to rebuild their lives away from the streets, developing their sense of self-worth, so they can begin to look more positively towards the future.”


SPEAR is a charity for people experiencing homelessness in South West London. It works alongside service users, partners, staff and volunteers to build communities in which anyone facing or experiencing homelessness can quickly move into secure accommodation, get effective support, and work towards their hopes and aspirations. You can find out more about SPEAR here.