Brent Homeless User Group (B.HUG) was set up in September 2001 by homeless people who decided to work together with the aim of improving the homelessness situation in Brent. B.HUG has evolved greatly since then, from a small self-help group to a charitable organisation with an excellent reputation for its innovative work with homeless and disadvantaged people. In 2011, we changed our name to Lift to reflect our wider geographical reach and breadth of service provision.
We remain a user-led organisation. 50% of our Board of Trustees have personal experience of homelessness. An ethos of inclusion is at the heart of what we do: we promote inclusiveness and the empowerment of homeless and disadvantaged people and lead by example.
Our vision is of a society where all people have a decent home, a worthwhile job and are empowered and valued members of their communities. We work to achieve this vision by working with our service users to create enterprising, high quality and collaborative housing and employment solutions.
- December 2010: we were selected as a recipient of a HACT Golden Jubilee Award
- October 2010: B.HUG was a winner of this year’s Spark Challenge for innovative social enterprises working with homeless people
- March 2008: we were selected as one of 15 finalists from 85 nationwide applicants by SPARK Challenge to develop Community Insight, our social enterprise, to enable homeless people to improve services and gain employment
- Nov 2007: we were runners up for the Andy Ludlow Award for innovative work with homeless people for our West London Mystery Shopping Project that assessed how front line homelessness services are being delivered in 7 West London Boroughs, using homeless people trained as mystery shoppers, and leading to tangible improvements in services across West London
- May 2006: we were short-listed for the Michael Whippman Award for our involvement of homeless people
- Sept 2006–March 2007: our Road Show made over 40 visits to Secondary schools in Brent, delivering educational sessions on homelessness to over 2,500 young people, contributing to a 40% reduction in the number of young people approaching the Council for housing.