In the leafy suburbia of Twickenham and Richmond it’s sometimes easy to overlook the very real problem of homelessness that exists in our local area. Not so for SPEAR. The Twickenham based charity has a strong track record for its excellent work tackling homelessness across the borough and more widely across south west London.  This year SPEAR marks its 30th anniversary with what must surely be mixed emotions. It’s a great achievement to have played a key role in helping people in need for three decades but this must be balanced with concern that it still has a vital role to play in 2017. In fact, the demand for SPEAR’s services is increasing and SPEAR is needed as much today as 30 years ago when founded by Penny Wade.

Penny Wade House

To mark its 30 years, a special Anniversary event is taking place on the evening of Tuesday 11th July at Richmond Adult Education College  It  is not just a celebration of those SPEAR has supported from Homelessness to Independence, but also recognises the tremendous hurdles the charity and its supporters have faced in helping those most vulnerable over the last 30 years. The words of SPEAR’s founder Penny Wade are still relevant today: ‘No-one should die because they don’t have a home’.

Being based on Heath Road in the heart of Twickenham, SPEAR continues to be thankful for all the support given from the local community, to those most vulnerable.  One local client said:  “I’ve never looked back and never spent a night on the streets since – there is nothing like SPEAR in other boroughs and I feel lucky to know them – they give me what I need and more and I wouldn’t be here without them”.

In addition to helping rough sleepers off the street, SPEAR also supports clients in its hostels and shared housing units with physical and mental health needs in addition to helping them gain new volunteering and employment skills.  Providing these services costs money and fundraising is fundamental to underpinning them. You might see SPEAR stalls at local fairs and fetes raising awareness and promoting fundraising activities.


SPEAR at local summer fairs

The 30th Anniversary evening event will tell the client story through performance and the spoken word through a mix of SPEAR clients, professional actors and the medium of film.  There will also be a panel debate including Patron, Vince Cable; Breakthrough Bafta winning film director, Daisy-May Hudson;  SPEAR’s  CEO; and SPEAR clients from the past and present.  Guests already joining the event include the Mayor, local MPs and Trusts, corporate supporters and others from our local community.  Tickets to this  special event are open to all. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about SPEAR and its work.


SPEAR silent auction

Alongside the performance and panel discussion you will have the opportunity to be entertained by a magician whilst meeting other guests over a buffet provided by Heavenly Dish and refreshments from One Foundation plus desserts from Ben & Jerry’s and anniversary cake from Sugar Rush. There will be a raffle and live and silent auction with around 40 prizes donated by local businesses to bid on from gym memberships, afternoon tea, dinner, cinema, amazing holidays, prizes from Ken Loach, Rob Brydon, Jacqueline Wilson and more. What’s not to like?

To join this special evening and support SPEAR tickets can be booked at:



* Tickets for SPEAR 30th Event – Tue 11th July, Richmond Adult College. £25. Doors 6pm
* SPEAR website