About Us

Wintercomfort was established by Henry Rothschild and a group of local volunteers in response to the increasing number of homeless people in Cambridge.

In 1990, the volunteers began distributing warm clothing, sleeping bags and food from what was known within the community as ‘the blue bus’. In 1991, Wintercomfort became a registered charity and in 1994, moved into Overstream House on Victoria Avenue which has remained our home ever since.

Today, the charity is the only day-time service in the city, providing year-round advice and support for an average of 750 homeless or vulnerably housed people each year. Over the past three decades Wintercomfort has continued to grow and adapt to meet the needs of the homeless community. All our work is Service User led, with 35% of our staff having accessed Wintercomfort’s services in the past and 49% of the team having lived experience of homelessness.

Sadly today, our services are in greater demand than ever, and we face continued challenges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, we are proud of our place at the forefront of homelessness support in Cambridge and look forward with hope to the future.

Meet our team

Wintercomfort is governed by a Board of Trustees, who give their time and expertise for free.

Sarah Halls

Chief Executive Officer

Sarah Halls

Chief Executive Officer

Sarah joined Wintercomfort as CEO in October 2011. Before joining Wintercomfort Sarah worked as a Senior Manager at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) for over 22 years. Sarah is responsible for the organisation’s strategic direction and to ensure its financial stability, governance and legal compliance. She is an Associate of the CIPD and MIoF (cert). 

“It is a privilege to lead an organisation which is so instrumental in helping people to achieve their full potential and that does so much to break down the stereotypes surrounding homelessness.”

Chris Goldsmith

Finance and Business Manager

Chris Goldsmith

Finance and Business Manager

Chris joined Wintercomfort in March of 2020 after a long career in the private sector. He has lived in the local area for over 20 years and is really enjoying the change of sector and being part of a Team that does such vital work for the homeless in Cambridge.

Donna-Louise Cobban

Services Manager

Donna-Louise Cobban

Services Manager

Donna-Louise joined Wintercomfort in 2019 having gained over 10 years management experience in the mental health/social care/education sectors.  She also spent 5 years volunteering at Crisis where she found her passion for supporting the homelessness cause.  Donna-Louise is responsible for managing and developing our advice and support services that assist people to move out of homelessness. She works very closely with our council and charity partners to help develop a city-wide approach to support. 

“People find themselves homeless for all sorts of reasons and often lose themselves and become invisible as a result of this.  It is important to me that my team work to bring the person back to their full potential and empower them in their recovery journey to move out of homelessness and live meaningful lives, contributing to our wonderful city of Cambridge.”

Melody Brooker

Fundraising & Communications Manager

Melody Brooker

Fundraising & Communications Manager

Melody joined Wintercomfort in 2020 having previously run a business within the corporate events sector.  She has lived in Cambridge for over 20 years and is passionate about working to support those living with disadvantage in the city.  She is always keen to partner with local businesses, community groups and residents who would like to support Wintercomfort’s work and is always available to engage with the local community to further understanding of the local homelessness situation in Cambridge.

“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to be part of a team who do such vital work in the local community.  Do get in touch with me if you’d like to get involved.”

Our Trustees

Sarah Foreman

(Chair)

Rod Cantrill

(Vice Chair)

Christine Leonard

(Secretary)

Anne Pollintine

Jane Dominey

Joanne Crellen

Tim Tyndall

Jo Kibble

Sarah Foreman

Chair of trustees

Demand for our services continues to increase as the Covid-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down for everyone and unfortunately we now know that we will be living with uncertainty for some time to come. That said, this unprecedented experience has also resulted in many truly inspiring events, not least is the amazing response we received to our Covid -19 Emergency Appeal. Our team, trustees, staff and volunteers, have responded to this need with agility, tenacity, adaptability, integrity and vision. However hard it’s been, however endless it seems for those working in this sector, there is a very strong chance that many people’s lives are immeasurably better because of our excellent team.

Annual reports

Grant and Trust support

We are supported by a wide range of grant and trust funders. A full list of our funders can be seen in our Annual Report and Accounts.

Our latest newsletter

Wintercomfort’s Annual Report 2019 - 2020

2021 Evaluation Report