About

At The Porch, we run many inclusive projects that welcome people who are homeless and vulnerably housed in Oxford, including a warming café that provides wholesome and nourishing low cost lunches and suppers.

To empower visitors to move forward with their lives, we offer tailored support plans and an allocated support worker for any member that would like one, plus vocational skills training and employment support.

The Porch engages our members in numerous projects and activities to increase social inclusion. For example, we run a weekly art class with materials, Porch Preserves and enjoyable outings. At our allotment and orchard, members can work, learn practical skills and connect with the natural world. We also offer free Acupuncture, Counselling, Chiropody and Bowen Therapy for members.

Other services that make such a difference to our members are: laundry facilities and showers, free clothing store, library, suite of internet-enabled PCs.

Aspirations and Goals

Increase our dedicated professional resources to the delivery of enhanced individual development.
Continue to develop the range of activities as an aid to engaging new and existing members in support-plan based individual development programmes.
Provide nutritious meals, promoting healthy eating. We believe that there are strong links between good food and well being.
Promote an enhanced induction assessment and support-plan led approach relating to the hopes and aspirations of each member.
Recognize and celebrate the achievements of members by a portfolio of achievement for each member.

Achievements

5-star rating award from the Environmental Health Department’s Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
Winner of two public voting polls for Oxfordshire charities – Nationwide Charity Match Scheme 2015 and Opus Energy charity competition 2013.
Oxfordshire High Sherriff Award for our director’s ‘commitment to enabling homeless to get their foot on the first rung of the ladder out of dereliction, homelessness and unemployment’ 2014.
Runner up Oxfordshire Volunteer of the Year Award 2013.
Oxford Brookes Student Placement of Year 2013.

For a variety of reasons and often as result of their experience of homelessness, members’ lives have been damaged and hence the target client group require support in the resettlement process by virtue of:

Isolation and lack of social engagement
A lack of the basic life skills necessary to sustain housing and/or fulfil their personal aspirations
Basic literacy and numeracy needs
Primary health or mental health needs
Needs in relation to treatment of and recovery from substance misuse

Testimonials

‘What really caught my imagination was the staff and volunteers who make the centre a little oasis in a very problematic city’. - Porch Member

‘The Centre represents a lifeline, an absolute lifeline’. - Porch Member

‘I want to say thank you for your help, it is so appreciated and has made such a difference to my life’. - Porch Member