About Lift

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

Lift’s 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 that by creating enterprising, high-quality and collaborative solutions. Our work addresses homelessness, unemployment, and dis-empowerment.

Our Achievements in 2014-2015

 Employment Service– Our employment service supports disadvantaged people – particularly those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness – to access education, training and jobs. Getting people into work is vital in breaking the cycle of homelessness and multiple-exclusion. We offer a holistic service which enables people to get paid work and sustain their incomes with an overall improvement in their wellbeing. In 2014/15 we have supported:

  • 331 people to increase their skills through our training including ESOL, CV workshops, and IT skills
  • 82 people into employment
  • 72 people that have been affected by the benefits cap and faced with homelessness and relocation; 35 of them were successful in gaining employment and as a result  having greater chance of sustain local housing.

Involvement and Empowerment – We strongly advocate for the role of real engagement and empowerment in creating positive changes in people’s lives. We work with other organisations and agencies to build genuinely collaborative projects that involve and enable people to play a greater role in their communities. In 2014/15 we have supported:

  • 130 people to build their skills and volunteer in the community
  • 61 local residents, community groups, and businesses to form Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum which aims to shape how the area looks and develops
  • 47 people with training and empowerment activities to lead Bheard which is officially Brent Council’s adult social care service user group
  • Local community groups including Harlesden Town Gardens to apply for funding and unlock their potential

Housing Plus – We believe that all people have a right to a stable place to live and call home. We believe that decent, secure housing plays a crucial role in enabling people to make other changes in their lives such as sustaining a job and engaging in their communities. Lift’s housing service is delivered by one staff member, supported by a strong team of 5 volunteers. In 2014/15 we have supported:

  • 101 people with one to one housing advice which may have led to preventing homelessness & provided additional 165 people with telephone advice and signposting.
  • 38 people to secure and sustain tenancies, overachieving for our 3rd year running
  • 17 housed people to gain further financial assistance to sustain their tenancies
  • Crisis’ ‘Making_It_Count’ tool – calculates gross savings of £800,000 to public budgets from our housing service