The Margins Project, based at Union Chapel, is a frontline charity offering a range of services supporting people facing homelessness and other critical living crisis. These services, run in three interconnected programmes, are designed to improve the immediate, interim, and long-term living conditions of our guests (service users).

Donate here

Watch a film about everything that goes on at Margins, and get a sense of our community, here.


  • Drop-in Service, twice a week (Monday and Wednesdays) - This service is often the first contact with the homeless and the marginalised. It offers nutritious hot meal for 60-80 people in a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and provides limited access to showers, laundry, clothing, emergency food parcels as well as to access to hardship fund.
  • Housing, Benefits and Engagement Advice Service - aims to improve the living condition of people by providing housing and benefits advice as well as onward referrals to health and other pertinent services, such debt management advice, immigration advice and domestic violence support. Engagement activities help people gain important life and basic skills to breaks the circuit of unemployability and homelessness by providing personalised mix of administrative expertise as well as opportunity of sharing experience with peers. We are looking for people who can offer this expert advice to our guests. Please apply here.
  • Supported Employment Programme - As well as boosting the life skills, reducing isolation and recidivism, this programme offers a paid catering training that improves the chances of employability among 15 people who have had experience of homelessness, drug misuse and/or criminal records. Establishing ‘job readiness’ is the first stage of SEP trainees, and they have full access to drop-in and advice services.

These services are open during the days and hours below:

DROP-IN Services

Open Mondays and Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm, providing:-

  • Indoors hot meals served on table
  • Indoors tea and coffee served on table
  • Limited access to shower facilities, with priority to rough sleepers
  • Limited access to laundry, with priority for those who have just used Margins’ shower facilities

Advice and Engagement Services:-

  • During drop-in days, face to face advice is available on first come first served basis or by pre-booked appointments.
  • On other days (Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays), please book an appointment.
  • Advice and engagement service is also available by telephone and/or by email.

We are looking for people who can offer this expert advice to our guests. Please apply here.

For more info, email: [email protected]

Supported Employment Programme:-

Our ‘Supported Employment Programme’ open Monday to Friday and is an opportunity for people who have had experience of homelessness and crisis to get back into work. With paid positions in our catering service, we focus on improving well-being, building self-esteem and developing employability skills. Trainees gain a Level 2 Food Safety Award, and we tailor the programme to each individual’s specific needs. We seek to find the trainees further paid work and training at the end of their placement. 

If you wish to register your interest in joining the programme by emailing at [email protected]

For more information about all other Margins’ services, please contact us on:

Email: [email protected]; Phone: 0207 704 9050

Donate here

Sign Up for Margins Updates Here

'Be The Change' free applied theatre & creative arts sessions

For for adults navigating homelessness, recovery from substance abuse, and mental health services. 

Starting on 13 June 2024, the free evening sessions help build community, confidence, wellbeing, and unlock creativity to empower and improve lives. This time, the programme expands its offering from drama and theatre to include spoken word, creative writing, visual arts, movement, improvisation, character creation, and more - with no experience necessary.

Led by Islington People's Theatre in collaboration with The Margins Project and Rehearse The Revolution, the sessions will run on Thursdays 6.30-8.30pm here at Union Chapel's Lower Hall in 5, 10-weekly blocks. Participants are encouraged to attend as many sessions as possible to maximise development, enjoyment, and community and will also be invited to free theatre and live event trips. Learn more on the flyer here and email Islington People's Theatre here for more info or to express interest to attend.



    Coming to Margins has been vital to me. The staff and the system set up are really good.

The food is outstanding. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming.

The atmosphere is also very good. 




The Margins Project entrance is at the back of Union Chapel, on Compton Avenue, marked in the map below;


Many agencies are working together across Islington to make sure people who are street homeless have somewhere to stay. For more information, please contact Councils Housing Advice Line below.

Rough Sleeping?

If you are rough sleeping, please self-refer to Streetlink, so that an outreach team can visit you at your sleep site; 

Phone: 0300 500 0914


Not rough sleeping but your housing is at immediate risk?

Please contact Islington Councils Housing Advice Line:

Phone: 020 7527 6371 (Housing Advice Line)

Email: [email protected] 

Office hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm 

If out of hours and a housing emergency – call 0207 527 2000 for out of hours service 

In need of financial support for essentials?

You can self-refer to the Resident Support Scheme for food vouchers – gas and electricity top up.

If you need practical support/or regular phone contact?

You can call the We are Islington helpline:

Phone: 020 7527 8222

Email: [email protected].

Lines open every day from 9am to 5pm 

The Council has set up ‘we are Islington helpline’ working with the voluntary sector and mutual aid groups to provide support, including: getting food or medicine, online group activities, legal advice or a friendly phone conversation. 

If you need advice on benefits?

IMAX Islington’s Income Maximisation Team 

Offering a phone advice and casework service and are asking advice line callers to leave their name and contact details so that they can return calls. 

Phone: 020 75278600 

Email: [email protected].

Need a food bank or other community food services?

Visit Islington Food Partnership's food services page here for venue information and other food services available throughout the week.


Margins is part of the CARIS Islington circuit, and it had run overnight shelter, a nutritious meal and a hot breakfast for up to 15 guests, who would otherwise be sleeping rough on the streets, for many years every Wednesday from January to March. However, the CARIS Islington circuit is unable to commit the resources required to invest in and run the shelter in a safe way that meets post-COVID best practice

We (Margins) are referral partners to some shelters that will operate. We can also signpost where needed. Please call or email us for more information on this.

Here some links to shelters that are operating this winter

Glassdoor       |       Robes        |        This Is Growth


Our therapy sessions are under review currently

Support Our Work 

Book Our Catering 

We also provide high quality inhouse and external catering from our Margins catering team to hires of Union Chapel spaces. 

Lunch is available from only £6 per head and all income generated goes back into our charitable work. 

Please get in touch via [email protected] for more information on taliored information on services and rates. 

Eat at Margins Café 

Many people know us best through the café we run in the bar at Union Chapel gigs and events.  

When events are running normally, this café is the hub for our charitable work and our Supported Employment Programme, where up to 12 formerly marginalised trainees learn the skills involved in preparing delicious food and front of house service every year. 

All profits from the café support our work. 

Margins Café also provides catering for rehearsals and workshops at Union Chapel.

Contact [email protected]

Keep up to date with what we're up to

Margins Facebook          


Our work is only possible because of the commitment of our volunteers and the generous support of a range of funders & partners. A huge thanks to them. 

Safeguarding Statement 

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility – The Margins Project is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare and wellbeing of children and adults at risk. It expects all trustees, staff and volunteers to share this commitment. 

Financial Report 2022-2023

Annual Review 2019–2020

The Margins Project is Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) 
Charity Number: 1153070