About Us

Moving On Durham’s (MOD) aim is to break the cycle of youth homelessness in County Durham.
We work with young people (16-25) individually, using strength based methods to address their challenges. We aim to enable young people’s transition from a place of chaotic housing need to a position of security, knowledge and confidence.

We are not a housing association. We don’t own property or place unnecessary focus on the acquisition and management of housing stock. This allows us to relentlessly focus on the needs of our young people, placing their development at the front and centre of our business model.

Our support team is made up of specialist youth workers, supported by a professional housing team. This blend of people allows us to put the development of life-skills first, with specialist input from housing professionals to help young people sustain their tenancies


Our History

Moving On Durham was first established as a project called Durham Night Stop in the late 1980’s. The project was a partnership between Durham Churches Group and Durham City Youth Project who were concerned about the poor provision of homeless support and supported lodgings in the City. It operated as a project of the Durham City Youth Project, before becoming formally constituted as Moving on Durham in 1996.
The purpose the service at this point was homelessness prevention through the provision of information, advice and guidance to young people – a service that we still offer today.
Over the next few years Moving On developed a number of different services:
– Floating Support
– Advocacy and Peer Support
– Independence Training
– Pre-tenancy training
– Counselling
The charity remained based in Durham City and offered a number of ‘drop in’ and informal training resources for homeless young people out of 2 rented houses on Sherburn Road estate. Funding at this time was often scarce and the service fluctuated in size and capability from year to year.
IAG Service
We establish an Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) service. The IAG service works on an outreach basis to provide support to young people who are at risk of becoming homeless. Operating from education and community settings, the service has informed over 5,000 young people of their options and helped them to make informed decisions.
The charity ‘incorporates’ as a company limited by guarantee, reflecting its growing size and ambition to make a difference to young people in County Durham
Housing Service
In 2014 with support from the Northern Rock Foundation the Moving On Housing was set up to provide transitional housing for homeless young people for the first time. This project quickly enabled the charity to start to grow its reach and its impact across the county
Moving On Lettings
Moving on Lettings is established. There was an identified gap in the market for ‘move on’ accommodation for our young people and we were aware of local people in need of decent housing. We established the lettings ‘social enterprise’ to provide decent homes and a management service for landlords.
Responding to the COVID guidelines, our young people are issued guidance to social distance. There is the huge risk of negative impact on mental health and young people involving themselves in risk taking activities. We are forced into measures to protect support workers and our young people and move support to online, phone and doorstep visits. Thankfully, our young people have responded very well to the virus, and have felt secure and supported in their homes.

What We Do


Homelessness Prevention

We provide information, advice and guidance on an outreach basis from 25 community settings. We work with young people and marginalised groups who are considered to be at risk of homelessness. We provide face to face, telephone and email support to over 400 young people, helping them to understand their options and make informed decisions about their housing situation.

Housing Support

We provide an intensive 12 month support intervention, working in partnership with landlords to help young people to sustain their tenancies. This provides stability to the young person and allows our support workers to address their needs and help them to become contributing members of society. We work in an asset based way, agreeing action plans with each young person that focuses on their strengths and ambitions. 

Move On

Once a young person demonstrates stability and independence we support them to ‘Move on’ into an independent property, where we continue to provide informal support when needed. Our model allows the flexibility for young people to ‘stay put’ in their properties or move into a new property.

Property Services

As an ethical lettings agency, we rent properties from landlords in order to provide young people with a place to live. We maintain the properties to a high standard and ensure young people have a safe home

Our People

‘As a Charity, Moving On Durham is managed by a board of trustees. Our trustees are local people who care about local people and volunteer their time to help reduce the impact of homelessness in County Durham. Our Trustees come from a range of professional backgrounds and use their expertise to help direct the charity and support the staff team.

Laura Watson – Chair

Our current Chairperson is Laura Watson.  Laura joined the board in 2016.  Laura currently works at Gentoo Group as Head of Procurement, prior to that having roles in both the public and private sector.  Whilst her background is mostly in commercial roles, Laura also offers a strategic oversight to the Board.  In her spare time, Laura also offers pro-bono coaching to a number of charities.

Why do you volunteer for Moving On Durham?

I have always been keen to involve myself in local charities, and do volunteering work.  In a previous role, I found out about a Trustee vacancy at Moving On, and applied.   At the time, I didn’t know that much about the charity, or the problems faced within this sector, but I was inspired by the work being done to support young people in my hometown.  Over the years, I have been proud to serve and understand more about the direct impact Moving On Durham has on young people.  As a result of this voluntary role, I applied to take up a permanent role within the sector.

Avoiding Homelessness is only one small part  of the picture at Moving On Durham;  The support that is provided to assist young people to become independent, and ultimately help them ‘move on’ in their life, is something that I had not appreciated initially; supporting young people to live independently is the key work that helps safeguard young people from future issues, with homelessness and much much more.

The staff team, led by Chief Executive Peter Richards is made up of dedicated, experienced and qualified individuals who care passionately about young people and ensure they have a safe home and a fresh start.

Peter Richards – Chief Executive

Peter has over 25 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, with 11 years as a Chief Executive / Executive Director. Peter has significant long term experience managing external funding, project development and delivery across diverse operations from landscape and built architecture, to youth work and employability programmes. From multi million pound investments from the National Lottery and Coalfields Regeneration Trust, to managing small community level donations and investments. Peter is a very experienced funding and project manager, successfully managing delivery, risks and returns on complex multi stakeholder projects whilst delivering diverse outcomes.

Why do you work for Moving On Durham?

It is an absolute privilege to work with the team at Moving On Durham, who work tirelessly to support one of the most vulnerable groups in society; homeless young people. Often presented with young people in crisis are despair, when we offer them a new home and a fresh start, what they can achieve with us is like magic. Our young people go on a journey with us, building their confidence, resilience and ability to live sustainably in the community; starting to achieve their potential. It is a real inspiration to see.

The Development Team is made up of specialists who ensure the smooth running of the charity. This includes administration, working with partner organisations, training, fundraising and other functions necessary for the charity to be successful. 

Geoff Knight – Development Manager

Geoff has been involved in youth organisations of varying forms for over 15 years, either as a youth worker, in management or as a trustee. In addition, before joining Moving On Durham, Geoff worked for the Local Authority in community development and project management, giving him a fantastic insight into the fabric of local communities around County Durham, as well as first hand experience of working with young people in the towns and villages around County Durham.

Why do you work for Moving On Durham?

I have always enjoyed working with young people, but seeing young people overcoming adversity is something that I am deeply passionate about. The Development Manager role at Moving On Durham allows me to work behind the scenes as a problem solver to equip our incredible support team in being transformative in young peoples lives across the county.



Charlotte Lee – Development Manager

Charlotte has over 7 years experience of working and volunteering in the voluntary sector, of which 4 years have been in a leadership role. Charlotte has front line experience of supporting people in the County Durham and Cleveland area, with support needs including homelessness, mental health, unemployment, substance misuse and dual diagnosis. Charlotte has managerial experience including overseeing of substantial contracts, HR and financial support.

Why do you work for Moving On Durham?

I have a passion to help young people achieve the best outcomes for them personally to help reach their aspirations. Seeing the transformation from when someone first starts their journey with us to end the result (often in a years time) is amazing and truly inspirational.

The Housing and Support teams ensure that properties are maintained to the highest standard and that young people have comfortable and safe homes. They schedule visits and support calls to help young people develop independent living skills. Rachael Logan is our Senior Support worker, who supports the team to provide the highest quality support.

Rachael Logan –Support Team Manager

Rachael started out her professional career working in the travel industry. Her abilities were quickly recognised and she had numerous promotions, eventually becoming TV advertising manager. She left to have a family and in that period studied for a degree in health and social care and completing numerous placements. She was super keen to support people, so her next role was in housing support, where she was put in charge of a portfolio of around 120 properties, but never quite feeling like she was making a positive difference to people’s lives. She joined Moving on Durham in 2015, initially as a part-time support worker, before moving into the team leader role in 2019.

Why do you work for Moving on Durham?

I love helping young people who have had a difficult start in life. I represent Moving On Durham at the housing panel, so I get to meet people at the very start and follow their journeys through our support programme. I’m very reliable, and some would say straight to the point, so young people tend to respect what I say and take an interest in their own personal development. Seeing the progress made is just amazing and knowing you have played a part in changing someone’s life for the better is such a lovely feeling. I have a fantastic dedicated team of support workers who work so hard. I’m so proud of my team and all that they do to ensure young people are healthy and happy.



Leaders in Safeguarding Logo

At Moving on Durham, we take Safeguarding seriously. Our safeguarding policy is available       for public review here. We are delighted to have achieved the Leaders in Safeguarding                 award in January 2022 in recognition of our excellent safeguarding highly robust provision,       practice and commitment to keep children, young people and vulnerable adults safe.                   Please contact us for further information, comments or suggestions.

      Link to Safeguarding Policy