We are delighted to announce that NOAH Enterprise has been selected as Luton Town’s club charity of the year for the rest of this season and the 2023-24 campaign.
NOAH Enterprise is a Luton-based charity that works across Bedfordshire to support those experiencing homelessness and severe poverty.
For over 30 years, NOAH have been providing practical support to those who need it most in our community. Last year, the Welfare Centre in Luton was visited almost 14,000 times by people requiring the charity’s services, with nearly 300 people assisted into secure accommodation. With the cost of living continuing to rise, they unfortunately believe their services are only going to be in higher demand moving forward.
NOAH Enterprise CEO, David Morris, said: “We are honoured to have been chosen as Luton Town Football Club’s Charity of the Year, and it could not have come at a more important time for charity like ours. For the first time in four years, the amount of people sleeping rough on our streets has increased. And with the cost of living crisis continuing, we are yet to see the full consequences of what this means for the people living in our town and wider county.
“The work we do here at NOAH is vital to keeping people safe and improving their quality of life. We’d like to thank Luton Town Football Club for choosing to support NOAH and raising awareness of homelessness and poverty in Luton and Bedfordshire. We look forward to working with the club to best serve the people who need us in our town.”
The NOAH Welfare Centre is located on Park Street in Luton town centre. Here people can receive a healthy lunch, a shower, internet access and warm clothing. They have visiting GPs, nurses and dentists, alongside highly-motivated staff who can provide practical accommodation support. The Welfare Centre is open 365 days a year so there is always somewhere for people to find support.
NOAH’s Outreach Team work with individuals who are rough sleeping – on the street, in car parks, bus shelters, under bridges and in derelict buildings – across Luton and Central Beds. The aim is to help people off the street and into accommodation, which is a vital part of improving their quality of life.
NOAH’s Luton and Bedford Academies seek to support those facing unemployment, as one of the biggest causes of homelessness. Last year, their provision supported 802 people by providing free courses, such as ESOL and basic IT, as well as CV workshops, interview practice and one-to-one job search help.
All of NOAH’s services are completely free to access, but they do cost around £2 million per year to run. At a meeting attended by club officials including manager Rob Edwards and chairman David Wilkinson at their Park Street welfare centre this week, NOAH staff explained how the support of Luton Town Football Club will make a tangible difference in improving the lives of people in our community.
Manager Edwards said: “It’s been a privilege to come to NOAH to see the hard work and effort that the brilliant people here put into trying to help people who have fallen on difficult times get their life back on track.
“We all know that football is important, including to the people here because of the partnership that as Luton Town Football Club we already have, and are going to develop further. But there is more to life than football. A lot of things are a lot more important than that, and that’s health and safety, and having somewhere to live. Visiting NOAH has helped put some perspective on the stresses we think we have in football.
“The people here have given me a sense of how they can help people get back on the straight and narrow, get back into society, get a roof over people’s heads, help them get jobs, and get some normality with things that so many of us take for granted.
“It’s clear they don’t want a pat on the back. They don’t want us to be singing and dancing about them, saying well done. They go about it because it’s important to them and they want to help people, but it’s good that at certain times we are able to recognise that.
“There are some brilliant people here, and it’s fantastic now that I know they are here, and what they do, that as a football club we can have a partnership to try and help in any way possible. I can promise that it’s a goal we will all work towards.”
For more information on NOAH, visit noahenterprise.org
Or follow them on social media:
Twitter - NOAH_Luton
Facebook - NoahEnterprise
Instagram - noah_enterprise_luton
LinkedIn - noah-enterprise
*Look out for a feature interview with Rob Edwards filmed at NOAH on BBC Look East tonight from 6.30pm.