Sanctuary Trust was formerly known as Caring Hands and was set up in 2011 at a former guest house in St. Aubin.
The original founders, a group of committed Christians and concerned parishioners in St. Brelade, were troubled by the lack of anywhere in the island that could be identified as a sanctuary for men facing major crises in their lives.
Whilst acknowledging the excellent work undertaken by other charities working with the homeless, the founders felt that something more encompassing was needed for those whose issues were more than just homelessness. The early days were helped by the support of the churches of St. Brelade, which continue to be key sponsors in the work of the Trust and generous individuals who understood the need for such a service.
Colin Taylor – Founder of Sanctuary Trust
Colin Taylor set up the Sanctuary Trust in 2011 to provide shelter and support for homeless and isolated men due to his concern that not enough was being done to help people who had fallen through the cracks.
In 2015 he was presented with the British Empire Medal by the Lieutenant-Governor, General Sir John McColl.
Questions with Reverend Mark Bond
A Brief History of Sanctuary Trust
Former Residents Past Successes
Case study summaries of men who have stayed at Sanctuary Trust in the first four or five years.
Case No 1: BD
BD came to stay shortly after Sanctuary opened. A local man who had been in business for many years had the unfortunate situation occur where his business failed. In the course of the winding up of that business, he lost his life’s work, his income, his home and his car. He ended up homeless with no money, no work, no car and in his sixties. Furthermore, his daughter, living in Jersey, was going through a divorce and this added to the man’s misfortune as she was unable to accommodate him. Sanctuary welcomed him as one of our first residents.
We helped him through the difficulties of income support. He helped us with his incredible courage and positive outlook on life. After some months with us, we enabled him to be housed by Andium Homes and he moved. He is still in touch with us and gratitude works both ways. He was one of the first to instil in Sanctuary House the wonderful philosophy of men looking after men and the therapeutic effect of a small group of men living together and looking after each other.
Case No 2: OZ
Oz was a young man who came to Jersey in 2013 as an RNLI lifeguard on Jersey beaches. On one fateful night outside a well-known night-club in Hill Street, he was involved in a fracas with another individual. The Police were called and OZ was arrested. He immediately was suspended or lost his summer job as a beach guard. He was brought before the Magistrates Court and bailed pending further investigation. He was subsequently referred to appear before the Royal Court owing to a recommendation by the Police that the assault was deemed to be grave and criminal. At a court hearing, Sanctuary acted as his bail address and he was released on bail. We then asked to see the CCTV footage of the alleged incident and it was discovered on studying a longer version of the CCTV footage that he was not the instigator of the incident. The court decided on this new presentation of evidence and the case was closed after that. He returned to Australia and he and his parents wrote a letter of deep appreciation to Sanctuary for the work done in help and support and ensuring this youth did not get a criminal record or a custodial sentence. The decision by trustees at the time to house this young man from outside the island and assist was entirely justifiable.
Case No 3: BM
BM came to us via a phone call from the St. Brelade Honorary Police. This eighteen-year-old man had been found living rough, starving and traumatised near Belcroute. The background was that his parents had divorced and both had left the island, one to Spain and the other to England.
This young man was essentially left in Jersey with hardly any money and no support. He was very frightened, scared and unable to look after himself. We took him in and calmed him down. We got in touch with the various support agencies on his behalf. We eventually tracked his mother down in England. In the months he was with Sanctuary, his ability to deal with life returned. He was scared of people, crowds, getting on a bus and going to the La Motte Street Social Security office. All his fears and all the damage being abandoned did slowly abated. Sanctuary, with volunteer counsellors worked to re-build his low self-confidence and self-esteem. It took months.
After much discussion and negotiation, Sanctuary liaised with his mother, negotiated and acted as an interim and then paid for an air fare to re-unite him with his mother in England.
Case No 4: DQ
This local elderly man came to us in 2013. A retired banker, who through divorce, misfortune and a number of bad decisions, ended up homeless and without any visible means of support. He was also a little confused and unable to look after himself. He needed help. He was isolated, depressed, lonely and underweight. Gradually, over a significant period of time, he became part of the house, part of the fabric of Sanctuary House, and his own character began to emerge again. He became popular with all the men even though he was the oldest. He had his own idiosyncratic ways of doing things but he was part of the community of men.
Sanctuary spent a great deal of time and effort negotiating with the various States agencies on his behalf. One of the biggest and most important assessments was to determine whether he could live independently. Eventually, after over three years with us, he moved out to a small flat under the control of Andium and Sanctuary transferred his care and control to the Assisted Living team at Andium. He still comes to Sanctuary and we provide him with support with cooked meals and laundry.
Case No 5: GH
This man in this late thirties came to us in 2013 with many issues, mostly to do with depression, low self-esteem and low self-confidence. This was complicated by serious damage to his teeth in an incident whereby he had lost almost all his front teeth. He was a trained chef but could not face working in the kitchen for Sanctuary. He was also drinking too much. Over a long period of time, we worked with him and gradually restored his confidence. A trustee approached a dentist he knew and asked how much re-constructive work would cost to replace the teeth that were missing for the most part on the front of both upper and lower jaws. This dentist simply asked to see GH. Over the period of the next year, this kind dentist re-built this man’s mouth with a new complete set of teeth.
The result was that the combination of support shown by Sanctuary and the re-constructive work carried out by the dentist transformed this man’s outlook on life. He started working in the hospitality industry part-time and then progressed to a full-time position. He moved from Sanctuary House in St. Aubin to Sanctuary Lodge, St. Peter. He is shortly to leave us and move to his own flat. His life has been changed and he no longer needs to or wants to drink as a prop to his lack of self-confidence.