Charity Spitalifields Crypt Trust was started in 1965 as a drop-in centre for homeless alcoholic men.

The journey of one of the first organisations in the UK to provide residential recovery to homeless alcoholic men began at Christ Church Spitalfields in East London - known as the Crypt.

The aim was simple: to always be available to help the numerous alcoholics from all walks of life - many of whom had been let go from other services.

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The team provided tea, soup, sandwiches and clothing to the dozens of people who called at their door every day.

By offering residential accommodation in the Crypt to men who were too sick to carry on drinking and living on the streets, they were given a chance to try an alcohol-free lifestyle.

In 2000, the charity moved out of the Crypt and into Acorn House on Shoreditch High Street - the site of its new residential recovery hostel.

SCT CEO Graham Marshall said: “Today, 50 years on, are almost unrecognisable, but two things remain the same: we care deeply about the people we work with and want the best for them. Everyone still values that about SCT. Secondly, we are in for the long haul. We are not involved in short bursts before moving on to the next person. Recovery takes time involving healing, change and maturity in the inner person. That is where long-term and permanent change has to happen.”

The charity is looking to make an extra £50,000 in its 50th birthday year, so if you can help, visit