History & Values

Who we are

Access Community Trust began life as the Lowestoft Night Shelter in 1975. Local people raised funds to provide shelter to single homeless and vulnerable people in the town who had found them self on the streets following the decline of the fishing industries. The shelter was situated in the derelict St Johns Church and provided a makeshift service relying solely on the goodwill of church groups and local people who shared a common interest in resolving the issue of homelessness in Lowestoft.

The Trust became a registered charity (St Johns Housing Trust) in 1980 and in 1985 we opened our first purpose built hostel in Lowestoft. This hostel, the Fyffe Centre, remains our largest residential service.

Since the 80’s the Trust has grown considerably. With a forward thinking and proactive Board of Trustees the decision to update our brand and organisational focus was a key activity throughout 2012 and in 2013 we relaunched as Access Community Trust.

The word ‘access’ represents us as a beacon of hope, giving everyone and anyone ‘access’ into housing, employment, healthcare and enrichment. During the consultation period our staff and customers were particularly keen to ensure that the individual letters also represented our values and ethos. So from a more personal perspective we collectively identified ‘A’ as standing for aspiration, advocacy and accommodation; ‘C’ stands for choice, care, confidence, community and creation. ‘E’ and ‘S’ value words included empower, enable, enrich, empathise, self actualisation, security, strength and socialisation (to name just a few of the list of 30). For the Trust, these words and the passion the staff and our customers had for identifying our future contribution to the community were the driving force for the change. We are extremely proud to be continuing, not changing, the work started many years ago.

Our Values

We will operate our service with honesty, delivering to the highest ethical standards and monitoring with accuracy
We promote robust, consistent and evidence based approaches in the delivery of all our services
We will provide our services in a transparent and accountable way

Our service is driven by passion and enthusiasm with the ambition to reach all vulnerable and socially excluded people without exception
We will deliver services that raise aspiration
We respect our wide ranging communities and are motivated to diversify the service we provide

We will always push the boundaries of achievement, for ourselves and our customers and clients
We strive to deliver the highest quality and value possible through simple relevant solutions
We will implement challenging strategic targets whilst continually striving to exceed them

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Our vision is to promote social inclusion for the community benefit by preventing people from becoming socially excluded, relieving the needs of those who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society.