About Us

Everything you need to know about our charity

St Martins Housing Trust is a registered charity. Our objects are to "provide food shelter and accommodation in the county of Norfolk for poor people having no other residence or the place to sleep" 

Our Mission

St Martins Housing Trust strives to address the needs of homeless people in Norwich.  We offer emergency direct access accommodation, residential care, support and development to enable everyone to achieve their full potential and a greater level of independence.


How it all began…

St Martins Housing Trust started life as the Norwich Night Shelter Project.  The original Night Shelter at St James Church (see picture above) on Barrack Street opened in 1972 in response to the growing problem of homelessness in Norwich.  In spite of the very basic amenities, the Night Shelter was in ever increasing demand, and within a few years new premises were needed to cope with the swelling number of Night Shelter users.  In 1976, the Shelter relocated to St Martin at Oak, a redundant church on Oak Street.  From this point on the Trust developed a wide range of complementary services that responded to the needs and expectations of homeless people.  In April 2002 the Night Shelter was replaced by a new, purpose-built Direct Access and Resettlement Hostel (Bishopbridge House) at Gas Hill, off Riverside Road, Norwich.




Bishopbridge House  - A 30 bed Direct Access and Resettlement Hostel.  10 rooms provide direct access accommodation from the street.  20 rooms are used for move-on and resettlement.  The aim is to provide routes out of homelessness.


Highwater House  - A 22 bed registered care home for people with mental health problems and with drug/or alcohol dependency (dual diagnosis).


Webster Court - Sheltered housing with a 24/7 extra care service, for 33 single older people who have experienced homelessness or are about to become homeless. 


Community Services  - Consisting of Group Homes - a number of shared houses, which act as a stepping-stone towards independent accommodation. Intensive Resettlement - providing support to service users who have multiple needs and a history of exclusions. Magdalen Road Project - providing support to service users ready to move on from residential placements and hospital stays. Independent Living Project - providing support to encourage well being and independence for service users housed within St Martins and within the wider community.


Contact, Assessment & Prevention Service  (CAPS) - provides ongoing support and assistance to address the difficulties faced by people who are either sleeping rough or in insecure accommodation and at risk of becoming homeless. This work includes a one night a week street-based shift that makes direct contact with rough sleepers in the city.


Temporary Accommodation Project (TAP)  - started as a pilot project in 2001, and now manages temporary accommodation on behalf of Norwich City Council for single homeless people whose homelessness applications are being investigated.  The accommodation is in shared houses and is a more homely alternative to bed and breakfast.  It also gives the Trust the opportunity to work with the individual on an appropriate support package for both the immediate and longer term.


Under-1-Roof - The Trust’s training, education and employment preparation centre opened in February 2010, providing a welcoming environment for our service users where they can take part in training tailored to their specific needs by established local training providers.


LEAP - Norwich City Council and St Martins Housing Trust's Learning Employment Accommodation project (LEAP) is a very special service providing employment, education, training and accommodation opportunities.


By working with our partners, we offer a range of options tailored to our clients' individual needs to help and support people reach their goals, and get back into education and employment.


Facilities - in-house catering, domestic and maintenance services.


Administrative Support  - financial and administrative functions at the Trust's Head Office.



The Trust works as a part of the broader movement in Norwich and the surrounding area.  We work with other voluntary organisations, housing associations, community and church groups to raise awareness of homelessness as one of the principle contributors to social exclusion.


The Trust aims to be a progressive and developing charity, adjusting to the needs of homeless people that are often very complex.  Over the last few years, for example, the characteristics of homeless people have changed dramatically.  We are now seeing a growing number of young people, women and people with mental health and substance misuse problems presenting at Bishopbridge House.



Your completed application form is an important part of the selection process.  Your form should be clearly written in black ink (or typed) and completed in full.  Please ensure that any continuation sheets are clearly labelled with your name and the post for which you are applying.  The application form is designed to ensure that you can describe to the Trust how you consider yourself to be suitable for the post including your qualifications, experience and personal qualities.


Equal Opportunities Policy  - St Martins Housing Trust is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities for all its staff and service users.  The Trust has adopted a policy in relation to the recruitment, employment and training of staff and in relation to its service provision.


As a part of your application pack you will have received an equal opportunities monitoring form.  Please ensure that you complete this form and return it to the Administrator at the Trust.  This will help us to evaluate our procedures and ensure that we are complying with our equal opportunities policy.


The Asylum & Immigration Act 1996  - this requires employers to verify that a person selected for employment is entitled to work in the United Kingdom.  A candidate offered employment would be required to produce an appropriate document on or before the first day of work.  Documents that are acceptable as evidence of the right to work in the UK include:

·       A document issued by a previous employer, the Inland Revenue, the Benefits Agency, the Contributions Agency or the Employment Service, which states their National Insurance Number.

·   A work permit or other approval to take employment issued by the Department for Education and Employment.

·       A Birth Certificate issued in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

·       A letter issued by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office indicating that you are a British citizen or have the right to take employment.


References  - you have been asked to provide the details of two people who are able to provide a reference for you.  One should be your most recent employer or your school or college tutor if you have not been employed.  The Trust may take references up before interviews take place.  Please let us know by ticking the appropriate box if you do not wish us to contact either of your referees without speaking to you beforehand.


Selection for Interview  - the applicants that we wish to short-list will usually be contacted by post.  Please state on the application form whether or not you wish to be contacted at work.  If you do not hear from us within four weeks of the closing date for applications, this will mean that you have not been short-listed for interview. 


The Interview  - the interview panel will normally be drawn from senior members of staff within the area relevant to the post.  The panel will usually comprise two or possibly three people.


Criminal convictions – Due to the nature of the Trust’s work with vulnerable people al  convictions, including those normally considered “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, must be disclosed.  Failure to disclose any employment contract entered into on the basis of this application.


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