Annual Report




Three of the Kick start trainees are still in our employment and doing well, over a year since joining Cornerstone. Harry now runs the assertive outreach engaging directly with rough sleepers, while Charlotte looks after our retail work in Hartlepool as well as helping out with drop in’s in our Hub and supporting Harry with his outreach work.



Dom the third trainee from the DWP’s Kickstart Scheme, is still in or employment and working full time as a workshop practitioner in our Willington joinery factory.


Housing support

Employed two new support staff members including one trainee.



Eighteen new volunteers joined Cornerstone across Durham and Hartlepool, helping with various roles such as workshop, retail, community support and night-time, sit-up service. 



 Joinery workshop and retail

Shed sales 192

Furniture sales by item 365

Partnered 12 voluntary organisations

Gave training to 65 adults


Cornerstone Alternative Education Provision

Achieved vocational training engagement with 39 young people not attending school


Cornerstone’s Supported Housing Durham and Hartlepool

Added four new supported housing properties to its portfolio in Hartlepool

Our Rough sleeper Assertive Outreach team supported

  • 23 people sleeping rough/ homeless into safe housing
  • performed more than 130 street sweeps carried out day, night, and early mornings.





Community hub – Hartlepool town centre


In February 2022 Cornerstone opened its Community Hub and retail outlet which is in the centre of the town of Hartlepool, replacing ‘The Cracket’ in Owton Manor, Hartlepool which we had outgrown. It has been open to the public from between two and when possible six days per week from 10am to 4.30pm

The hub has quickly delivered a central access point for many local public support service workers from areas of financial advice, debt management, domestic violence, drug, alcohol, and substance rehabilitation, physical wellness, mental health, and works in collaboration with other local charities on all these issues being particularly active on food poverty.

This year 725 people attended the hub, 558 supported with food, 281 supported by agencies (START, Cornerstone, HBC, Advice at Hart, Positive solutions, Re-loved clothing, UCQ).

It has quickly established itself as a respected retailer of furniture in the town centre high street venue and the charity's furniture and sheds have been in high demand and with profits made there ploughed back into sustaining the project and its services long term. There are now, regular, planned, well attended drop-ins attracting great interest and participation from all areas of the community.


Rough Sleeper Sit-up Service

We have utilised existing housing and introduced further space to offer in and out of hours emergency housing for those rough sleeping.

Emergency beds

76 Clients- 62 moved on (82%)

577 nights stayed across the 2 emergency rooms (over 80% occupied)

3rd room added another 187/200 days of occupancy (94%).

17 people given somewhere to stay outside of normal work hours.

53/76 clients reengaged with services while in emergency rooms.

Examples of successes?

  • Female aged 45 with nowhere to go after property closure, unable to get housed anywhere. Stayed in our first steps scheme for 14 nights before moving on to a step forward property for a further few weeks. After hard work from our support staff and re engaging with other services during our drop ins, she secured her own long term tenancy. She has been housed for almost 1 year.
  • Male aged 36 with nowhere to go after prison release. Turned down by other supported accommodation providers due to history of offending and alcohol abuse. Stayed in our first steps accommodation for 17 nights before moving to a step forward property. Engaged with services and volunteered in our hub with retail, cleaning and cooking for other attendees. Helped with moving furniture and re-decorating void flats. Now in a move on property with Cornerstone for up to 2 years.
  • Male aged 50 rough sleeping and suffering with severe mental health problems. Moved into our first steps accommodation for 6 nights while waiting to be assessed by Hartlepool Borough Council. Moved into a Step forward property when it became available. Attended our drop ins and got support with benefits and making GP appointments to get correct mental health support. 6 months on and no longer needs supported accommodation and is working full time.


Issues addressed and improved by our targeted support were

  • Alcohol issues
  • Clothing (insufficient or inappropriate for weather conditions)
  • Coldness due to weather condition
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug use (crack cocaine, heroin cannabis)
  • Epilepsy and physical wellbeing
  • Hunger
  • Long-term homelessness
  • Mental health
  • Physical and mental exhaustion
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Street homelessness