Opening doors for the homeless in Chelmsford


Chelmsford CHESS is both a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.

Legal structure

Chelmsford CHESS is both a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. Its constitution is governed by the charities and companies legislation of England and Wales and by its own Memorandum and Articles of Association. Its objects, as set out in the Memorandum, are:

To relieve hardship and distress amongst the homeless primarily but not exclusively within the district administered by Essex County Council and among those living in adverse housing conditions, in particular but not exclusively by a) the provision of emergency accommodation and associated services, and b) the provision of assistance towards acquiring a settled way of life through rehabilitation and permanent accommodation. 

The relief of poverty of persons living in the above mentioned area.

Homeless people

The homeless people of Chelmsford and the surrounding areas lie at the heart of everything Chelmsford CHESS does.

We exist solely to support them.

Wherever possible, we strive to take their views and needs into account in all our planning and activities.


As a company limited by guarantee, CHESS has life members and annual members. (The life membership list is now closed.)

In addition to paying an annual subscription where applicable, members guarantee to pay a maximum of £10 each towards the payment of the charity's liabilities in the unlikely event that it fails and proves unable to pay them from its own resources.

Any adult can apply for membership. Find out more about becoming a Member and supporting the work that we do.


The trustees are the charity's directors. They are responsible for the overall strategy, policy and direction of CHESS.

The members appoint the trustees at the annual general meetings. The trustees can appoint additional trustees between AGMs, subject to confirmation at the following AGM. Trustees serve for three years but are eligible for re-election.

The trustees are obliged to prepare annual reports and accounts showing the results of their stewardship of CHESS. These are considered by the members at the annual general meetings.


CHESS currently has an Executive team consisting of the Chair, the Executive Director and the Treasurer. The Executive is the vital link between the trustees and CHESS's day-to-day operations. It is responsible for:

  • leading and motivating CHESS personnel to achieve the organisation's overall mission and to provide effective services to all those it supports;
  • preparing and achieving the annual budget and ensuring financial and other resources are used effectively;
  • contributing to the trustees' discussions, sharing with them responsibility for the strategic and financial development of CHESS and the good stewardship of its resources; and
  • spearheading CHESS's efforts to offer homeless people the challenge and opportunity of a new lifestyle that contributes to the wellbeing of themselves and others.


Working under the Executive are managers who are in charge of particular aspects of CHESS's support for homeless people.

The current management roles are:

  • Support Manager – Client Support Senior Manager
  • Night Accommodation Manager – Business Support manager

The managers supervise a number of other paid full-time and part-time staff. From time to time we also have people working with us on placement as part of a degree or other course; these are unpaid.


Working alongside the paid managers and staff are a large number of unpaid volunteers.

Volunteers discharge a variety of duties, from acting as mentors to doing the laundry, from sleeping-over at the Night Shelter to collecting donated food.

If you are interested in volunteering, click here to find out more.