Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
No matter the time of day, the day of the week, the circumstances or the reason, The Sanctuary at the Marylebone Project is open for any woman in crisis.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
The Sanctuary is an all-encompassing space where vulnerable women at risk can come – during the day or at night – to feel safe and find support, so they do not have to deal with any crisis they may be facing alone, and can take the first step towards moving forwards.
Centre Advice workers can refer women to our Support or Resettlement Services, or directly into one of our Emergency Beds.
Aims of The Sanctuary
- 24/7 service to serve as a haven for homeless women
- Support and guidance from specialist advisors
- A safe place accessible day or night
- Food, clothing, shower facilities, laundry facilities available
Why We Operate 24/7/365
The issue of women’s homelessness is particularly acute. Often homeless women are extremely vulnerable, they can face horrendous treatment – including sexual abuse and violence. Many of our women have reported feeling unsafe when accessing largely male homelessness services.
Crisis can happen at any time of the day or night, although for women without stable housing, the risk is higher at night. Our 24 – hour sanctuary means that women have a safe place to go to in crisis, day or night.
Who Can Use The Sanctuary
Women who are rough sleeping in Westminster. Examples of current women being welcomed are:
- Women who have been temporarily housed in hostels that are in abhorrent conditions
- Food and cleaning facilities are often not included within hostel accommodation, so women come to The Sanctuary to shower and eat.
- Women who have no recourse to public funds and are subsequently street homeless
- Women who have mental health difficulties which grossly impact on their ability to maintain their accommodation
In 2021 the Day Centre at the Marylebone Project underwent a major refurbishment supported by the Evening Standard’s ‘Homelessness Campaign’ in partnership with the London Homeless Collective and Barclays PLC.
This funding allowed us to fully furnished kitchen area was created for the women to be able to make their own food, drinks and snacks. The ceilings have been raised in places to give a more spacious feel and a beautiful wooden reception desk has been built so that now, as women walk through the door, they are directly greeted with a warm and smiling reception.
The IT suite has been enhanced to provide a stylish and more spacious feel to the space and there has been an impressive makeover of the shower rooms – they now have a contemporary and luxurious feel with underfloor heating.
The women using The Sanctuary were directly involved in the design and were invited to meet with the Architect to pick out colour schemes, prints and tiling. It was a very proud moment for the women to see their ideas and suggestions manifested in the final design.
A partnership with Selfridges and their Merchandising Team further improved the centre by adding plants, artwork, and brand-new furnishings.
The Sanctuary offers a therapeutic environment where women can access the following services:
- Showering facilities
- Hot meals and refreshments
- Laundry facilities
- Luggage store
- Care of address
- Access to computers
- A range of courses and Activities
- Nurses Clinic
- Healthcare Specialist Drop ins
- Counselling services
- Substance Misuse support
- Sexual Health Drop in (SASH London)
- Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA)
Advice workers are on hand throughout the day and night to provide advice and guidance to support women with accessing housing, benefits or healthcare, as well as signposting women to relevant services, ensuring they’re supported holistically.
The Sanctuary Team manage 4 Emergency Beds short-term (28 day) crash pads for women with low support needs. Women are allocated an Advice Worker to assist them with searching for more stable accommodation during the 28-day period.
Activities & Training
The Centre Team offers the Women into Work programme – a range of Accredited and vocational courses aimed at equipping the women with the skills needed for employment.
Personal development workshops are also provided to improve self-esteem and confidence. We partner with local and national businesses who provide employment and voluntary opportunities for our women.
We welcome volunteers to help enrich our meaningful activity programme at The Sanctuary. We are actively looking for more Kitchen Assistant volunteers to help with preparing food for the women.
In addition, we are always looking for volunteers to provide innovative and creative workshops for our women. For example, we have recently recruited a volunteer to provide a course on how to design a mobile phone App.
Interested in Volunteering?
The Marylebone Project is very fortunate to receive many material donations to help our work – items often taken for granted make such a difference and mean so much to vulnerable women.
- Clothing donations
- Food donations