Carlisle Key: helping young people build independent lives

Carlisle Key operates a drop-in centre for young people who are experiencing – or at risk of – homelessness; offering a listening ear, assistance, advice and signposting in response to each individual’s needs.

The charity recently opened its first supported accommodation and a second will be opening soon.

Social Problem

Young people who’ve grown up in unstable environments aren’t given the tools needed for healthy, successful, independent lives. This can lead to poor choices, mental health issues, addiction and homelessness. Even if they are able to access housing, there can be a gap in provision with a lack of reliable, ongoing support and guidance.


Carlisle Key has seen the incredible benefits of interacting regularly with at-risk young people through its drop-in centre, where they offer help and advice on everything from employment to health and finances. The charity knew that alongside these services, there was potential to help the young people they were working with in a more complete way through the provision of supported housing.


A Charity Bank loan of £63,000 assisted Carlisle Key in buying a 6-bedroom house where they now provide accommodation to young people aged 18–25 alongside comprehensive daily support, guidance and education.


Not only does the accommodation give these young people a safe, comfortable place to call home, it has provided them with a support network vital to their futures. Having daily contact with these young people has allowed Carlisle Key to provide consistent guidance and structure, teaching key life skills and setting the residents on a path to sustainable independent living.

“The loan from Charity Bank was key in enabling us to purchase our first property and move the charity into this next phase. Being able to own rather than simply lease means we now have an independent source of income that will help ensure the sustainability of the charity.”

“Being able to offer supported housing alongside the services of the drop-in centre has allowed us to really guide these young people in a more sustained and comprehensive way, empowering them with the knowledge, support and confidence they need to get off the carousel and onto a more positive path for the future.”

Iain McNee, Operations Manager, Carlisle Key

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £300m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

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