Poppy Centre Townsend Lane
The building was previously owned by Age Concern

Liverpool charity makes HQ move 

Dan Whelan

New Start, a not-for-profit organisation that provides accommodation for homeless people, has moved into the 8,000 sq ft Poppy Centre in Anfield after securing funding to acquire and renovate the property. 

The Townsend Lane building was previously owned and occupied by Age Concern, a charity that provides services for people with dementia, before the facility closed in 2019. 

New Start, which secured a £350,000 package from Lloyds Bank to purchase the building from Age Concern, has relocated from its previous base within the Wavertree Job Bank, having outgrown the site following the addition of 20 staff last year. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the demand for New Start’s services has increased substantially, the charity said. 

Neil Baynes, managing director of New Start, said: “Even before the pandemic, one in every 200 people in England found themselves without a home. And we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for our services since March. This is a worrying trend we expect to continue for some time. 

“The move to our new dedicated HQ will allow us to consolidate all our resources under one roof and will serve as the central hub of our operation as we continue to provide support to people on Merseyside.” 

Last April, New Start used an additional £330,000 cash injection from Lloyds Bank to purchase a disused hotel in Southport, providing immediate shelter to 19 people.  

Formed in 1997, the charity now has a team of more than 150 staff that provides a broad range of housing and social care services to hundreds of people across Merseyside. 

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