Off the Fence

Saving lives of homeless people

Off The Fence supports homeless, vulnerable and socially excluded people in Brighton and Hove in Sussex.

In 2023 the Axis Foundation donated £7,000 to Off the Fence Trust to purchase 200 Vango Atlas Heavyweight sleeping bags for the rough sleepers who use the services of Antifreeze, the charity’s day centre for the homeless, part of an emergency outreach.

“We are so grateful, as are our clients. Until they are housed, each of our clients uses at least two high quality sleeping bags a year, demand fuelled by wear and tear or theft. £7,000 enables us to purchase 200 military quality sleeping bags that will undoubtedly prevent deaths from exposure, illness and the cold through the Winter months. This is helps us meet a significant proportion of our outdoor budget in this area”  – Roy Stannard, Head of Income-Generation and Comms

We followed this up with a further donation of £4,750 to purchase hygiene materials (including toothpaste, shampoo, razors, shaving foam and cleaning products), hot water bottles (for distribution on the street) and waterproof jackets (for warmth and protection in the cold winter).

“The Axis Foundation is bulwark of compassion in an uncertain world” –  Roy Stannard, Head of Income-Generation and Comms

“Thank you for your compassion and generosity. Lives will be saved” –  Jane Leaver, Office Finance and Individual Giving Co-ordinator

More About Off the Fence

Off The Fence Trust works with vulnerable and socially excluded people in the Brighton and Hove area. Over 700 people use Antifreeze, the charity’s day centre for the homeless. Some users (for example if they own a dog,) have elected to remain rough sleepers. In 2021-22 Antifreeze’s services were used 1,775  times. Whilst many rough sleepers can be accommodated in the City’s hotels and B&Bs, this is only a temporary solution, and the numbers are rising steeply.

Off The Fence Trust tackles social and spiritual poverty, and helps members of the community who are facing crisis situations with little or no support. Their priority is to provide a practical, emotional and psychological safety net through three projects:

  • Antifreeze, a day centre for the homeless – part of an emergency outreach to rough sleepers
  • Schools’ programme for 6-18-year-old children
  • Gateway, a women’s centre supporting women in crisis

There’s more about their work here

Members of the Choir With No Name sing togetherCommunity

Choir With No Name

Our notes help Community Choir support homeless and socially marginalised through singing

The Choir with No Name (CWNN) is a community choir for people affected by homelessness and marginalisation. CWNN’s vision is that all people have a place they belong. A place where anyone can come and sing their hearts out. Their mission is to enable as many homeless and marginalised people as possible to beat loneliness and build their confidence and skills through singing. Communal singing is proven to be hugely beneficial for both physical and mental health. So, they were delighted to receive a sum of £5,000 from the Axis Foundation.

“We are thrilled to have the support of Axis Foundation. Our London choir is a positive and non-judgmental space where the most isolated members of the community can build up a network of support, grow in confidence, sing away their worries and get themselves back on their feet.”

“The Axis Foundation’s generosity means that we will be able to continue to run rehearsals in central London all year round, reaching more people affected by homelessness in the city and introducing them to the multiple benefits of singing together.”

“We are extremely grateful, thank you!” – Rachel Clare, Fundraising and Communications Manager

More About our Grant

The Axis Foundation’s £5,000 grant will support the music delivery costs of the London choir, including the Choir Director and rehearsal venue hire fees. Support for these costs in 2018/19 will enable them to offer community choir rehearsals 48 weeks of the year, create 12 gig opportunities for members at inspirational venues across the capital and host 12 outreach singing workshops for people at risk of homelessness and marginalised community members.  The community choir project aims to engage with 230 individuals through their rehearsals and outreach programme throughout the year.

More About The Choir with No Name

The Choir with No Name London is based in the borough of Camden but is open to all boroughs in London. They also run choirs in Birmingham and Liverpool, and launched a brand new choir in Brighton in August 2018. In 2017/18 they worked with 764 marginalised adults across all choirs (278 via rehearsals and 486 via outreach singing workshops). CWNN rehearsals are followed by a hot meal and then the opportunity to socialise. Volunteers do the cooking and provide pastoral care and practical support too.



Homeless man being served food in The Passage homeless kitchen.Community

The Passage

Help for the homeless in Westminster

The Passage is a day-care centre that operates for the homeless, providing food and shelter, as well as two hostels for vulnerable rough sleepers at night. The centre is used by up to 200 people a day for both men and women, offering basic care, advice, health care re- homing help, education, training and hostel accommodation.

Westminster has the highest concentration of homeless rough sleepers in the country. There is a pressing need to both provide care for them with basic services and to support them to rebuild their lives. The Passage strives to achieve this by helping them access benefits they may be entitled to and by offering educational support so that they can find accommodation and maybe a way of income.

The Axis Foundation has aided The Passage in continuing their support for people in the Westminster area by donating £5,000. This donation will look to furnish the bedrooms in their main hostel and help fund new bedding, towels, table lamps, clock radios and cleaning kits so residents have a clean atmosphere and a pleasant feel to the place.

Over the years a number of Axis people have used their 1 volunteering day a year to volunteer at the passage to help out the homeless in the areas we work.  We have also donated painting equipment with staff volunteering their time to refurbish rooms and several corridors at the Passage Homeless Shelter.

In one year it took £3.9m to run their 48 bed shelter, the day centre and provide support including; mental health care, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, shelter for older homeless people, education and training for employment.

Axis recognised the importance of the Passage’s work and shares the centre’s ethos of providing a hand up rather than a hand out, something Axis employs within the social housing communities in which they work.