For over 20 years, Off the Fence’s vision has been to see an end to social and spiritual
poverty in Brighton and Hove.
In 1993, CEO Paul Young responded to the question,
“When are Christians going to get off the fence and do something about social poverty?”
This was when he and his wife, Wendy, made the decision to go out into the streets of
Brighton and Hove to help the most marginalized and vulnerable in the city. Paul started out
with one friend, speaking with the homeless, guiding them to areas and services in the city
where they could receive help.
This team of two soon turned into a team of four. Eventually, seventy volunteers from
across a range of local churches and different denominations joined them, all with the goal
of caring for, and saving the lives of those who were falling through the cracks of society.
“We started to give out the sleeping bags, clothes, hot drinks and it continued to grow from
that. Over the years we used a coach that would house the homeless especially over the
Christmas months. We had 6 people in that van and we looked after them as they struggled
through the bitter winters.”
— Paul Young
In 1997, Off The Fence became an official registered charity.
…poverty has increased nationwide and Brighton is no exception. Off The Fence has grown
alongside those who need us, helping them back to fulfilling and independent lives. We now
operate across three main areas: homelessness, women at risk and schools and youth.
We provide short and long-term solutions, through our two day centres, three outreach
vans and 15 local schools. This work takes the support of just over 150 trained volunteers,
staff and interns.
The mission of Off The Fence is to eradicate social and spiritual poverty in Brighton & Hove.
We engage with those who need us and those who want to support us to to bring hope and
transformation across the City.
Off the Fence in the Parish
The Parish has been supporting Off the Fence in a number of different ways over the last
few years. We have had Advent collections of various clothing items, collected coffee money
over several months, and some of you may recall one of our parishioners running three
marathons in three days, raising an amazing amount of money.