'Smiles for the Skylight'

The judges called homelessness charity Crisis Skylight project absolutely stunning and unbelievably successful. For head of Skylight, Helen Leech, however, the most rewarding reactions were from the homeless people who attended. My favourite quote from someone on the project was, I opened up like a blooming flower,she recalls.

Skylight is designed to re-skill and re-motivate single homeless people by offering flexible first steps back into learning and society through a variety of non-compulsory courses. For homeless people, the issue of rehousing, says Leech, is only one part of the problem: Homelessness is about more than a roof. Its causes relationship breakdown, substance abuse, ill health, often have a devastating impact on people's ability to function within society.

With little existing daytime provision of services for homeless people, Skylight leased an 11,000 sq. ft building in central London, which was transformed over the summer of 2002 into an activity centre. Skylight became fully operational in December 2003 and currently offers courses including computer maintenance, bicycle repair, photography, creative writing, and karate.

Since opening, more than 700 homeless people have participated in activities and, as of February 2004, an average of 100 homeless people are taking part in more than 45 different activities every day of the week. Here people are engaging at every level, says Leech.

Shaks Ghosh 
Chief executive
64 Commercial Street
E1 6LT
0870 011 3335
Reg no. 1082947


[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close ยป

Community Standards

The community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear


  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Follow Charity Awards

Overall Awards partner



Sponsored by

Ebury Partners


Kleinwort Benson


National media partner

The Times

News & Announcements

John Low, CAF; David Townsend and Linda Jonsson, Peas; Nick Hurd, minister for civil society

A charity that has built 22 secondary schools in Uganda and Zambia and educated over 8,000 youngsters...

David Carrington, winner of the Outstanding Achievement award at the Charity Awards 2013

Voluntary sector consultant and adviser David Carrington has been honoured with the Outstanding Achievement...

How the Halo Trust won Overall Winner of the Charity Awards 2012

To whet the appetite of prospective entrants, we look here at the work of the Halo Trust, Overall Winner...