DENS: Rebuilding lives, one brick at a time

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DENS has been helping people to rebuild their lives for 18 years. It manages a day centre, food bank, 44-bed hostel and several move-on properties. The charity recently took out a £248k loan with Charity Bank to buy a new move-on property.

Social Problem

The ‘Everyone In’ Government scheme helped to tackle homelessness during the pandemic, however, a halt in funding and the end of the eviction ban are likely to see more people forced onto the streets.


While hostels provide temporary accommodation, they are not a long-term solution. DENS offers a holistic package of support to help people learn new skills and rebuild their lives. Its services include a 44-bed hostel, as well as a food bank, day centre and move-on accommodation.


There is usually a waiting list for DENS’ hostel. It can be difficult to find suitable accommodation for clients to move on to, which creates a bottleneck, keeping people in the hostel even when they’re ready to move on. A £248k loan from Charity Bank has enabled DENS to buy a new move-on property, which will then help to free up hostel spaces.


The new property has four bedrooms as well as shared living areas. Tenants will be supported by a key worker but given the chance to live more independently – a crucial step in breaking the cycle of homelessness. When they are ready to take the next step, DENS will be there to help them find a new home of their own.

“Our mortgage advisor was struggling to find somebody that would lend us the money, because of our charity status and particular circumstances. So I approached Charity Bank and we had a chat. They understood our services and what we wanted to do. The loan repayments are comparable to the rent we’re paying on our other properties. So, we’ll be adding an asset to our balance sheet without the extra cash outlay.”

Trina Myatt – Head of Finance and Resources at DENS

“I just want to be in my own place with my own key and have that true sense of independence back. The way I see it, it will be going from strength to strength. I just want to really get back into full-time employment and get my head back down into the game.”

Spencer – a DENS client

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 £350m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.