Thames Reach is a London-based charity helping homeless and vulnerable people to live in decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives. Their vision is to end street homelessness. Thames Reach assists rough sleepers on the street, houses people in a range of hostels and supported accommodation projects and helps isolated or vulnerable people to develop new skills, take up training and work and build meaningful relationships within their communities.
Hilary Stent worked for Thames Reach for ten years before her untimely death from cancer in 1999. She was greatly loved by her colleagues and by the many homeless people to whom she committed herself. The Hilary Stent Awards were created in 2001 as an annual award for homeless and formerly homeless people who are trying to make big steps in their lives and as a way to remember the remarkable contribution Hilary made to the lives of so many.
The awards are presented to those people with the best idea of making the big step away from homelessness. There are no preconceptions about what the winning ideas must be, but Thamesreach are particularly interested in ones that are ambitious, unusual, make a big difference to the life of the person seeking the award and, most importantly, originate from the homeless or formerly homeless person themselves. Previous awards have included a laptop, driving lessons, carpentry tools, a music keyboard and lessons in various classes.
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