What a strange year!!

November 23rd, 2020 No comments »

I think we can all say that no one had predicted that 2020 would turn out the way that it did. Sadly, in one way or another, Covid 19 has affected everyone.

The things in life that we have taken advantage of, such as visiting family, friends, having a birthday party or a wedding, going to see a Show at the theatre or even going to “non-essential” shops have stopped.

Previously we would say “don’t forget your keys” before leaving the house has now been changed to “don’t forget your face mask and sanitiser”!!

New words have been added to our vocabulary such as Furlough, Key Worker and `R’ Rate.

Lockdown was difficult for everyone, but I can only assume it must have been even harder for all our families who live in our Hostels. But with all the staff members support, they have coped incredibly well.

With news of a vaccination bringing a light of optimism for 2021 and the festivities of Christmas in a matter of weeks, hopefully the end of 2020 will be a bit more of a jolly time.

In the meantime, Stay Safe, continue the Zoom meeting parties/quiz nights and don’t forget your face mask !

In Memoriam

November 23rd, 2018 No comments »

P.C.H.A. received the sad news that Mrs. Doreen Stairs had passed away on 26th October 2018.

In 1982 Doreen, President of the Portsmouth and District Free Church Women’s Council joined the Management Committee.  At that time, the Association, then known as Portsmouth and District Free Church Women’s Council Housing Association Ltd only had St. Paul’s House with the view to opening another hostel.

In 1985, Doreen was elected Chairman of the Management Committee, a position she held till 1994. During her time as Chairman,  the Association opened Somers Road Hostel in 1986 and St. Monica’s House in 1993.

Mrs. Stairs laying the Foundation Stone for St. Monica’s House 27th August 1993


In 1994, a new Chairman was elected and Doreen continued to be an active member of the Management Committee until she retired in 2011.

Doreen Stairs will be fondly remembered by Portsmouth Churches Housing Association Ltd as a wonderful kind lady who was committed in helping many young homeless families and young women in the Portsmouth area.


mrs stairs 2

Doreen Stairs

27th June 1924 – 26th October 2018



November 2nd, 2018 No comments »

Today a certificate arrived confirming that the Portsmouth Churches Housing Association raised an incredible £130 for Macmillan.



A big thank you to the residents at St. Monica’s House and Somers Road Hostel,  Staff, Committee Members and friends for coming along and making the event a lot of fun and donating cakes and money.

MacMillan Big Coffee Morning 2018

October 15th, 2018 No comments »

The blue skies and sunshine on Friday 29th September made a beautiful backdrop for the Big Coffee Morning held at St. Monica’s House.  

With home-made cakes by Residents, Staff and Committee Members along with lots of cups of tea and coffee, everyone had a wonderful time raising money for MacMillan.  Along with the delicious treats a raffle and competitions with lots of prizes made the event a lot of fun.

All the home-made bakes were entered into a “Bake-Off” vote with the chocolate Hedgehog cake baker winning the title of Star Baker.



macmillan 20182

The sale of cakes, tea, coffee and raffle tickets

 raised an incredible £130 

Macmillan 2018 1

Thank you to everyone who came along and made it a fun morning.



News Letter – Summer 2018

July 2nd, 2018 No comments »



The work started by the women of the Free Churches back in 1911 continues today and it has been a busy year for the Housing Association.  In the twelve months from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 a total of 55 families and 9 single women were accommodated in the Association’s three hostels.  The average length of stay for families is between 6 and 12 months. Single women tend to stay for longer periods of time as the move on options for them are very limited.

As mentioned in our previous newsletter due to the shortage of affordable accommodation for young families the decision had been made to purchase a three bedroom property.  This was completed at the end of March and a family with two children moved in at the beginning of April.


Mrs Lynch presenting the key to Vicky

Mrs. Elspeth Lynch Chairman of the Housing Association presenting the keys to the tenant of the new property



Summer 2018



New House Purchase

April 20th, 2018 No comments »

Towards the end 2017, the Management Committee felt that it was time to purchase another property in the Portsmouth Area.

At present, Portsmouth Churches Housing Association have 9 properties that range from one bedroom to two bedrooms, but one of our families required a three bedroom property.

With this in mind, a search of the local estate agents and the family’s request of areas in Portsmouth, a house was found in the Baffins area.  Situated near local shops, park and schools, it is an ideal house for a young family.

At the beginning of April 2018, Vicky, Dean and their children moved to their new home.

Vicky said “we love our new home. It’s near to our children’s school and the children are happy to have their own rooms and more space to play”.

Mrs Lynch presenting the key to Vicky

The Chairman, Mrs Lynch presenting the key to Vicky

February News Letter

February 21st, 2018 No comments »



Portsmouth Churches Housing Association has been providing support and accommodation, in our three hostels, for women and children in Portsmouth for over 100 years.  At the end of last year we were very pleased to be included in the Churches Homeless Action vouchers for Christmas scheme. Residents and staff attended a special service in St. Mary’s Church, Fratton to collect the supermarket vouchers, which had been donated by members of the public.  The vouchers were distributed to all residents for Christmas.  In addition, Management Committee members had agreed that rather than exchange Christmas cards to each other they would donate money which could be used to buy gifts for the residents of Somers Road, a hostel for single women.  The vouchers and gifts were distributed during a coffee morning organised by the residents, which everyone enjoyed.

At the start of this year the Management Committee members recognised that there is still a desperate shortage of decent affordable accommodation for single women and young families. It was decided that the Association would purchase a three bedroom house for one of our young families, who is currently in a two bedroom property.  A new family will be moving into the smaller property very soon.  Needless to say both families are delighted.

Finally, we are very pleased to have received a donation of toiletries, food and cleaning material from CHIMES (Churches together in Milton, Eastney and Southsea).  I would like to thank everyone involved for thinking of us and our residents.



A Successful Christmas Campaign

January 8th, 2018 No comments »

Thanks to the generosity of the people of Portsmouth donating to the Comfort and Joy Christmas Campaign, a total of £12,000 was raised and £5 gift cards distributed to clients from a variety of Portsmouth Organisations, including Portsmouth Churches Housing Association.

Residents in our Somers Road Hostel said that they were going to use the gift cards to buy items for their Christmas Dinner.  Christmas is a perfect time to get together and have fun and it meant a great deal to them that strangers thought about them and took the time to donate a gift card.


Portsmouth News Comfort and Joy Campaign

December 4th, 2017 No comments »

Portsmouth Churches Housing Association is one of eleven organisations in the Portsmouth area that will be benefiting from the Churches Homeless Action and Portsmouth News Comfort and Joy Campaign.

Members of the public are being asked to donate a £5 supermarket shopping gift card, which will be distributed to homeless people, young families and vulnerable young adults  who live/are supported by the eleven organisations.

On Thursday 30th November 2017, The News published an about Portsmouth Churches Housing Association and how the Campaign will benefit the residents who live in our hostels.



Emma Adams, a member of the Housing Management Team was interviewed on behalf of PCHA.  Emma explained about the Hostels and the client groups that live in our accommodation and how a small gift of a £5 gift card can make all the difference to someone who was on a low income or may have no contact with any family and may not receive any cards or gifts at Christmas.

portsmouth news

To read the full article and see a brief interview with Emma Adams plus click on the link below.


If you wish to be involved, follow these steps :-

  1. Buy a Christmas Card and write a message (but do not include your name or address)
  2. Purchase a £5 supermarket gift card
  3. Put the gift card into the Christmas Card envelope, but do not seal the envelope.
  4. Place in a larger envelope (seal this one) and post to Deanery Office, St. Faith’s Church, Crasswell Street, Portsmouth PO1 1HT.


Article by Byron Melton and Photograph by Habibur Rahman

The Portsmouth News Comfort and Joy Christmas Campaign 2017

November 20th, 2017 No comments »

The Portsmouth News in collaboration with Churches Homeless Action Group have set up the Comfort and Joy Campaign.  The purpose of the campaign is to distribute Christmas Cards with a £5 Supermarket Gift Card to those in need.

xmas poster2

xmas poster1

Portsmouth Churches Housing Association, along with other eleven other organisations in the Portsmouth area selected, will benefit from the Campaign.


To kick start the Campaign, The News published an article which gave details as to how people can donate and where to send the gift cards and a list of the organisations that will benefit.


ports news

ports news1

The donation of the £5 gift card means that the families and the single women living in our hostels can purchase something extra special that they would not normally be able to afford to do due to low income.

For others it may be the only gift that they receive this year, and knowing that someone has thought about them at this time of year can mean so much to them.

To read the article and find out how to get involved please visit  http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/spread-christmas-cheer-with-our-special-campaign-1-8252940



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