Thames Reach was a double award winner in the prestigious Third Sector Excellence Awards held in central London.
The charity picked up the Big Impact Award for the work of the London Reconnection Project which has helped over 1000 Central and Eastern European rough sleepers escape destitution on the streets of the capital and return home.
Thames Reach’s London Reconnection Project was launched in January 2009, at a time when there was little support available for the increasing numbers of Central and Eastern European men and women sleeping rough on the streets of London.
Thames Reach also won an award in the Best Communications Campaign category for its super-strength campaign. The campaign highlights the need for the Government to increase tax on these problem drinks and for the drinks industry to behave more responsibly.
Super-strength ciders and lagers are the biggest killers of homeless people in the UK. They are responsible for the deaths of more homeless men and women than either heroin or crack cocaine.
Thames Reach has been campaigning relentlessly since 2005 to get these super-strength drinks taxed more heavily as medical studies indicate that people’s behaviour with respect to drinking is heavily influenced by the price of the products available.
The campaign is not anti-alcohol but focuses on the fact that super-strength drinks are a breed apart from regular and premium strength drinks and aimed at people with drink problems. The charity is aware of over 50 deaths directly attributable to super-strength drinks among the homeless people we help in the past three years alone.
Thames Reach’s director of street and hostel services Audrey Mitchell said:
“We are thrilled that the impact of the London Reconnection Project has been recognised. We are grateful to our many partners including the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Greater London Authority and European embassies for their support of this vital service, and the website (www.routeshome.org.uk).
“The service helps those spiralling into destitution to have a supported reconnection home to family, friends or a support agency. Our dedicated team work tirelessly, with their inspirational manager, to respond efficiently and sensitively to those marginalised and without hope on our streets.”
Thames Reach’s communications manager Mike Nicholas said:
“We are delighted to have been recognised in these prestigious awards. We have had some major successes with our super super-strength campaign, but the issues associated with these deadly drinks continue. There are huge health and social problems facing people that drink them.”
Find out more about the London Reconnection Project http://www.thamesreach.org.uk/what-we-do/routes-home/
Read more about Thames Reach’s super-strength campaign