About The Porch Day Centre, Oxford
The Porch Day Centre, Oxford, provides day-long support for homeless and vulnerably housed people wanting to move forward in their lives.
Founded by the All Saints Sisters of the Poor in 1986, The Porch has become a place of welcome, friendship and encouragement for hundreds of homeless men and women over the years. The centre was run initially by volunteers at All Saints Convent in Magdalen Road.
The project has since grown into an independent charity with its own staff. It is the only Oxford day centre open six days a week. It provides around 200 people a year with an opportunity to move towards a more positive lifestyle, away from addiction and dependency.
An innovation, introduced by the founders, was to include homeless users as members of the centre, in order to incorporate their views in decision making. This practice continues to present, making The Porch an exemplar for other day centres.
In 2019, the centre became a founder member of the Oxfordshire Homeless Movement, the coalition of homeless agencies in Oxford. And in 2020, the former Magdalen Road Church hall was bought for The Porch with the support of All Saints Sisters of the Poor.
Today, the centre relies on around 50 volunteers who contribute to helping the centre run all year round. The centre also partners with the Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health at Oxford Brookes University to offer social work placements.
The patron of The Porch is Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft the Bishop of Oxford.