Peterborough charity boss who spent savings helping house homeless people awarded MBE

Ed’s charity puts a roof over the heads of more than 300 people

Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 10:52 pm
Edward Walker has been awarded an MBE for his charity work helping homeless people in Peterborough and beyond.
Edward Walker has been awarded an MBE for his charity work helping homeless people in Peterborough and beyond.

An “inspirational leader” has been given an MBE for services to tackling homelessness in Peterborough.

Edward Walker, 45, is the chief executive of homeless charity Hope into Action which was launched in the city back in 2011.

After returning to the UK, having left his job at a non-governmental organisation in Sudan, he started working in a hostel for homeless people in Peterborough.

He became concerned about the gaps in provision in the city and felt that the churches could be mobilised to help.

He told the Peterborough Telegraph: "I am just one person committed to the idea that churches have the power to make a very significant difference to those experiencing the tragedy of homelessness."

He and his wife used their own savings to buy the charity’s first house to help a man who had left prison with nowhere to live – and the charity grew from there.

Hope into Action now specialises in purchasing properties and partnering with churches to offer supported housing to people experiencing homelessness nationwide.

Homes are now available for a wide range of people without a home, including people in recovery from addiction, people sleeping rough, women and children fleeing domestic violence, people coming out of rehab, former sex workers, refugees, those suffering mental health issues and survivors of human trafficking.

“The work at Hope into Action would not be possible without the support of hundreds of people who have brought about this recognition,” Edward, affectionately known as Ed, said.

"In accepting this award we remember and stand in solidarity with all those that have experienced the trauma, suffering, injustices and abuses of homelessness.”

The charity now has houses in 23 different towns and cities in the UK and puts a roof over the heads of 315 people.

The charity adds that it has “very high rates of success” in supporting people away from offending addiction and the model it developed has won awards from both Homeless Link and national newspaper, The Guardian.

Ed joins Sandie Burns, chief executive of Disability Peterborough, in receiving a MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list.