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The London Homelessness Awards

In memory of Andy Ludlow


Andy Ludlow Homelessness Awards


Celebrating London-based projects that improve services to homeless people


The London Homelessness Awards – in memory of Andy Ludlow, are unique and recognise the creativity and imagination that agencies can bring to services for homeless people. 

What we are looking for is an innovative and sustainable approach to helping people who are homeless; or to stopping more people becoming homeless.

The winners get £30,000 and the two runners up share another £25,000.  As well as the money, the LHA winners receive publicity and support for on-going promotion.

The awards are open to all projects in London working in the field of homelessness.  This includes registered social landlords, local councils, London NHS and health related organisations, voluntary organisations, or a partnership of any of these.  The only stipulation is that your project must have been operating and delivering services for a minimum of six months.

We are delighted to announce the six shortlisted projects for this year's award.

Previous winners say that winning an award has made a significant and real difference to their organisation, their work and their clients. 

Key dates

The 2016 Awards are now closed (as of Tuesday 10 May 2016).

The awards ceremony will take place in October 2016.

If you would like to enter the 2017 awards please enter your email here and we'll send you an alert when they open for entry next Spring. 

The awards are sponsored by the London Housing Foundation, the London borough Housing Directors, and the charities Crisis and Shelter.

Our 2016 media partner is 24housing.




Who was Andy Ludlow?

The London Homelessness Awards: in memory of Andy Ludlow, recognise innovative work and projects that tackle homelessness in London and beyond. But who was Andy Ludlow, the man in whose honour the awards were named? Andy Ludlow was a director of housing and social services at Haringey Council.  Andy was a pioneer in developing a ‘holistic’ approach to housing and social services in his borough. He also believed in bringing services to the people, rather than making them travel to get them. Just before he was to move from Haringey to be director of housing at Enfield Council, he died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage at only 51. Andy was much loved and renowned for his commitment to local residents and for treating people with dignity. His funeral was attended by 1,000 people.


The Andy Ludlow legacy

After he died, London's housing directors set up the Andy Ludlow Homelessness Awards as a lasting legacy and testament to his tireless work in the homeless sector. Since 1999 the Andy Ludlow Homelessness Awards have gone from strength to strength. From 2015, the awards have been known as 'The London Homelessness Awards: in memory of Andy Ludlow'.

Who can enter the awards?

Projects must be London-based and either improve services to homeless people, prevent homelessness or tackle disadvantage caused by homelessness.

The awards are open to council departments, registered social landlords, London NHS and health related organisations, voluntary organisations or a partnership of these agencies. Projects must have been running for a minimum of six months.

The judges look for evidence of work that:

  • takes an innovative or unique approach
  • can be replicated across London
  • improves services to homeless people or people at risk of becoming homeless
  • prevents homelessness
  • tackles disadvantage caused by homelessness

Entering the awards

Conditions of entry

The standard application must be completed – no other form of application will be accepted. 

You may return your application form by email but a signed hard copy must be received by the closing deadline (note: the 2016 awards closed on Tuesday 10 May).

The judges will base their initial assessment on your application form alone so supporting material may not be submitted.
Only projects that have been running for a minimum of 6 months and can support their entry to the awards by being able to provide proven information and statistics are eligible to enter.

The 2017 awards open for entries in the Spring of that year. Enter your email here and we'll send you an email alert when they open.

In the meantime, you can download entry form guidance notes here (these notes relate to the 2016 entry form but you may find them useful as an indication of what your application will need to include)

Entrants must agree to the following on receipt of any prize money awarded:

  • Prize money must be used to enhance the services of the project, or to develop a new service for the project. This may include extending your project to cover other parts of London, improving services to homeless people or vulnerable groups; preventing homelessness and  tackling disadvantage caused by homelessness.
  • Prize money must not be used for existing staff costs or to pay off existing debt, and will be utilised in full by the end of the 2016 calendar year.

If you are shortlisted for the awards, the judges may wish to visit the project and speak to service users and staff to get a feel for the project on the ground.  If this is the case, a suitable date will be arranged for the visit during which judges will expect to have reasonable access to relevant individuals in order to inform their decision-making. You will not be required to provide access to any data or records.

Sponsors and partners

London Housing Foundation

The London Housing Foundation has been working to support the homelessness sector in London since 1990. As a charitable trust it is committed to assisting agencies in London that are working to prevent homelessness and to secure better futures for single homeless people.

The London Housing Foundation:

  • provides funding for initiatives aimed at personal development or organisational transitions
  • disseminates successful strategies
  • publishes research and studies
  • supports struggling agencies through advice and funding.

The London Housing Foundation has been a sponsor of the awards since they were launched in 1999.

For more information about London Housing Foundation click here.

London borough housing directors

London Councils works closely with boroughs and other stakeholders on planning and housing issues in London, sharing information, promoting best practice, influencing policies and informing public debate. We convene a regular meeting of London borough housing directors concerning housing strategy and commissioning, housing partnerships and development, homelessness and housing needs. Read more about London Councils' Housing and planning work here.


Crisis is a national charity for single homeless people. Crisis is dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services relating to education, employment, housing and well-being services to address individual needs and help people to transform their lives.

Crisis aims to:

  • do more for more homeless people in more places across the UK and help to change their lives for good
  • change the way society thinks and acts towards homeless people

For more information about Crisis click here.


Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through advice, support and legal service.

Shelter's goal is to help more people in housing need than ever before by:

  • supporting more families
  • increasing the capacity of Shelter's website and helpline
  • creating new integrated advice and support hubs in areas where there is the most need
  • putting the housing crisis back on the national agenda

Shelter has been a sponsor of the Andy Ludlow Homelessness Awards since they began in 1999. 

For more information visit Shelter click here.

The six shortlisted projects of 2016

We are delighted to announce the six shortlisted projects in 2016 are:

Bench Outreach : Housing First


Housing First works with homeless people in South East London.  Traditionally, treatment for drug, alcohol or mental health issues is required before allowing homeless people to have independent accommodation. This does not work for everyone and many individuals are condemned to a cycle of homelessness - prison, hostels and rough sleeping. Housing First addresses this problem. To date, 17 tenancies have been created and sustained, and they are on target to house 60 people by the end of 2017.

"Our service is unique, utilising social housing, for greater security of tenure.  Housing is not contingent on entering treatment; the only conditions being a wish to live independently and a willingness to let us help maintain their tenancy. 

Being housed opens doors to education and employment, improves health and promotes inclusion. Housing First heals wounds. Our clients are reuniting with family and the community. We help people to live with dignity."

House of St Barnabas : Employment Academy


The House of St Barnabas works to break the cycle of homelessness by providing training, work experience and employment opportunities to help people rebuild their lives.  Uniquely they do this by using their beautiful Grade I listed Georgian townhouse in Soho to run a social enterprise, a fully commercial members' club.  

The club provides income to run their Employment Academy which is at the heart of the social business, it provides an on-site commercial environment for their trainees with accredited training, work experience and employment support.  The staff are trained as buddies to support the trainees, providing job support and to ensure that the trainees feel part of the team.

The aim is to enable people to step away from the labels of “homeless” to become active employees within the businesses they work with.   They are on track to become financially self-sustaining from earned income by the end of 2018.

London Borough of Croydon : People’s Gateway


The People’s Gateway originated in response to welfare changes in 2013.  Croydon adopted the benefit cap early whilst dealing with dealt with under occupancy and changes to council tax credit. These changes affected over 16,000 households, with over £8m benefits lost. "We needed to find a way to keep households from crisis, being forced to rely on statutory services and experiencing negative impacts on health and wellbeing." 

The People’s Gateway promotes household independence by considering households as a whole, reducing overlap and duplication.  The service prevents crises such as homelessness and stabilises households in crisis. The support provided requires the customer to own and take actions to support their future position and covers financial, employment and housing support.  It works with people before they get into crisis as well as with those in immediate need. 

The service takes a Think Family approach looking beyond the presenting issue and assessing the issues that affect families’ resilience and independence and embraces digital technology and multi-agency work.

Refugee Council : Refugee Housing Resettlement


Refugee Housing Resettlement supports newly recognised refugees who, as a result of a positive asylum decision, are homeless, not deemed as priority, and need help in securing rented accommodation.

Refugees are at a significant disadvantage when searching for and securing accommodation as they have no savings for a deposit or rent in advance and lack understanding of how the system works. "Many of our clients have no social networks and feel isolated."

They work with landlords to help tackle misunderstanding and give support and provide support and advice to refugees both within the crucial 28 day period they have before support is withdrawn and afterwards.  In 2015 they secured 42 private tenancies, and many more hostel places. 

Refugees are uniquely vulnerable and can find it incredibly difficult to find housing or navigate the confusing and competitive London rental market. This project makes a difference.

St Mungo’s : Children and Family Service


Homelessness has a detrimental effect on family relationships. Homeless or ex homeless people are often estranged from families.  Traditionally, homeless services have not offered specific support.

This unmet need was highlighted in St Mungo’s research, Rebuilding Shattered Lives (2014), which looked at how women experience homelessness differently.  "As a result, we created the Child and Family Support Service, the first that we are aware of in the homelessness sector to respond to the needs of homeless parents".

The service offers:

  • advice on individual cases
  • McKenzie Friends: recruiting and training volunteers to support parents who attend court without legal representation,
  • Parent academy: training for parents on issues they have identified, and
  • training for staff members to help them in supporting clients who have children.  

The service is not tied to one project, one type of service or one area: the C&F Support Service works with staff members in our projects across London.  

Vital Regeneration


Vital Regeneration’s HELP Employment intensively supports unemployed people living in temporary accommodation in Westminster into employment, training or work experience. Since 2006, HELP has supported over 1100 individuals. On average, 25% of HELP clients move into work each year, 20% volunteer and 40% go into further training.

It also supports those facing the problem of in-work poverty to make the transition from low paid work to more fulfilling, better paid employment. HELP has the follow on HELP In-work Progression Service to enable people from the same housing background in low paid work flourish by achieving better pay and improved working conditions.

The HELP programme expanded in 2013 to include HELP Enterprise, a self-employment service aimed at supporting individuals in temporary accommodation to start up their own business.  It offers business advice, workshops, sector specific training, mentoring, access to finance and affordable housing, intensive business support and Vital Invest, a micro investment vehicle.

Winners and commended projects of 2015

1st prize - £30,000
Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP)

Defending Asylum Seekers Rights to Food and Shelter

ASAP's project reduces the destitution of asylum seekers by protecting their legal rights to food and shelter, and in turn combats the abuse they face when living on the streets and restores their human dignity. ASAPs primarily provide free legal presentation to asylum seekers who are destitute and are appealing a refusal or discontinuation of asylum support by the Home Office, at the Asylum Support Tribunal based in Tower Hamlets. The organisation employs four legal advisors and works with over 40 solicitors and barristers who give their time for free to represent asylum seekers at the Tribunal. There is no legal aid for this representation and without the ASAP service, destitute asylum seekers would have to navigate this complex area of law and represent themselves.


2nd prize - £15,000
Providence Row - Catering Trainee Scheme

The Catering Trainee Scheme

The scheme engages clients affected by homelessness, and/or substance misuse and mental health issues, in training to move them into sustainable employment so they can gain a better chance of accessing housing (through the private rented sector). With a professional chef, trainees produce meals for 30-50 rough sleepers and vulnerably housed people using the centre daily. While training, clients also access other advice and support on-site to tackle the underlying causes of their homelessness. The Trainee Scheme works in partnership with Andaz Hotel where 18 chefs have provided more than 40 culinary skills workshops in their five restaurants or our kitchen. Trainees also attend ‘‘Working On It’ – a 10 week employability skills training programme which uses the skills of volunteers from local corporate partner organisations, including; Rothschild and Freshfield. The curriculum addresses misconceptions about working, enhances confidence and aspiration to find work, and helps develop the skills to stay, and succeed in work.


3rd prize - £10,000
Centrepoint- Alumni App-Mini Workwise

The Mini-Workwise programme

This scheme offered job-specific opportunities.  The candidates who usually attend the Mini-Workwise programme have an interest and passion for a particular opportunity and are already considered job-ready, either through having completed the full Workwise programme or having had previous work experience. It aims to rapidly polish the young person’s job-readiness in 3 days and typically comprises at least one job opportunity at the end for the young person who has shown the most promise and commitment. The Youth Homelessness Databank (YHD) is a Google funded two-year digital innovation project that has been running since December 2014 and is building two key digital tools for the youth homelessness sector.

Commended Projects


Coram Voice's Homeless Outreach Project

Coram Voice began an Outreach Project at the New Horizon Youth Centre for homeless young people in central London. Their aim is to seek out, inform and support young people who are homeless, or at risk, and who should be supported by their Local Authority. By getting their needs correctly recognised, Coram can ensure they provide safe, suitable housing as well as support with their other welfare needs.

Coram aim is to re-engage young people with Children’s Services so they are kept safe and have the opportunity to realise their full potential. We visit the Centre fortnightly and proactively seek out homeless young people who have previously been in contact with Children’s Services. We offer information about their rights and entitlements, and provide one-to-one advice sessions and intensive follow-up advocacy support (via our phone- or community-based advocates). Once the young person is housed, our team then help them to re-engage with the system and to access support with finances, housing and education. Our advocates make safeguarding referrals instruct solicitors and liaise with Children’s Services departments.

Thames Reach's Work Ready Programme

The Work Ready Programme is a distinctive partnership between the corporate and voluntary sector with measurable outcomes. Thames Reach and McKinsey have together delivered two Work Ready Programmes, which consists of participation in an intensive week programme, which includes a residential weekend, away from London and people’s usual environments, both for participants, staff of Thames Reach and McKinsey, and volunteer mentors. This is followed by a week-long programme of workshops and visits delivered in the local community, and utilising local training venues, culminating in a graduation celebration. During this first stage of the programme, participants meet and engage with volunteer mentors who provide ongoing motivation, encouragement and practical advice to build upon the impact of the week and support the participant into and within volunteering, training, and employment.

Lambeth & Southwark Law Centres' project to provide immigration advice to street homeless migrants

Lambeth & Southwark Law Centres  provide specialist immigration advice to street homeless migrants, second tier support for the agency workers who support them and free  legal representation to assist project users access the immigration status or documentation that will assist them to get off the streets and rebuild their lives. The project started with weekly drop in advice surgeries at the West London Day Centre, we have organised training sessions for workers there and at other agencies who have contact with street homeless migrants, we have expanded the project to other projects supporting homeless people both with surgeries, referral systems and second tier advice and even gone out with the outreach teams to look at how we can work with them.