A hand up not a hand out

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The Beam Project

At the start of 2021, we asked organisations to help us find a way to help eradicate homelessness. We were searching for a way to help people create a new life for themselves.  Working with our awesome customers, and our partners at Beam, here are just a few of the people we have helped into new lives.  Each has their own story, their own rivers to cross, and their own dreams.  We have been happy to help, to play a small part by paying for their training and then watching as they start their new lives, with real jobs, homes and futures.

To find out more click here.

Creating Opportunity During Covid

PPE which goes the extra mile – meet the packers

Towards the end of the first 2020 lockdown, we were approached by Amey to supply PPE and find jobs for people living at the margins. These are just some of the people we helped:

Lauren is a swimming instructor and content creator on YouTube. COVID-19 meant that Lauren had to move back in with her mum, as she couldn’t afford her house share.  Lauren suffers from mental health issues and, like so many, she has been feeling hopeless. “I have all the time on my hands, and I am trying to find work that benefits the community to keep my mind active. This opportunity has made me feel more positive.”

Louise is an ex-offender who has come on leaps and bounds since arriving at Evolve, and especially since working with the Peer Circles project. She is passionate about animals and nails and has plans to qualify as a nail technician. She is currently on Evolve’s Entrepreneurship Program to develop her ideas and gain support to start her own nail business. She is a mother of two and is committed to leading a more fulfilling and positive life for herself and her family.

Nathan is an ex-offender and has made massive strides in the last 12 months to turn his life around. After completing Evolve’s Entrepreneurship Program and joining the Peer Circles project, he has begun developing an app to help people source, buy and cook with local fresh ingredients using easily accessible recipes. He is also developing a console game that is based on the cultural history of Rastafarians. He is a dedicated father and family man pursuing his dreams and achieving his goals.

Kate is currently homeless. This work opportunity has come at just the right time for Kate, considering the current climate and her on-going circumstances. Kate has a passion for the arts and in the future hopes to be able to set up her own art photography business.

David has turned his life around in the last two years. David has struggled with poor mental health and addiction. After working with Evolve’s Peer Circles project, he is now living independently, working part time, and has become a father to a beautiful little girl. He is dedicated to looking after and providing for his family. David gives back to his community through his church and supporting local causes.

Ricardo is a regular client at Croydon Nightwatch.  He became homeless last year when his employer didn’t pay him. He said: “Becoming homeless is one of the worst things that can happen to someone. I had always paid my own way and suddenly I felt like I had lost everything including my dignity. I don’t want to be reliant on other people’s support, I want to be the one helping others. This is my main motivation for improving myself and making my life better.”   Ricardo wants a full-time permanent job so he can transform his life. He is one of Amey’s Beam Sponsorships.

Jayden has struggled to get work since his seasonal job at Costco ended and has struggled with mental health in the last couple of years. He said: “This lockdown isolation has slowed down my progress in achieving my goals. I feel like I’d benefit from this opportunity as it would give me a sense of self-worth, help me regain my confidence in both myself and the workplace and allow me to interact with others. I genuinely feel like this could give me the boost and motivation I need to reassess and focus on future life goals.”

Ellie is a PE coach, who was made unemployed due to COVID-19. The last two years have been a struggle for Ellie due to a big change in her life. Ellie had been living with her grandparents, but due to the pandemic had to move in with her aunt. She said: “The last 3 months have been a struggle. Not only the money, but getting out and conversing with others. This is going to help me massively.”

Joseph has been out of work since last Christmas. Joseph wants to work in IT and become a web developer. He is looking for an opportunity to be placed with a company where he can work his way up. Due to COVID-19, Joseph has found it harder than ever to find work. His sister is part of Team Ethstat and as we grow, we hope to find work for Joseph to help him on his life’s journey.

Working on the streets

We have worked with Nightwatch since we started. Nightwatch feeds up to 150 people on the streets in Croydon every single night. Clients receive a meal, food pack and items as varied as clothes, shoes, personal hygiene packs and, in some cases, household items like kettles, toasters and microwaves. These help people settle into basic housing. Since the lockdown, one of our clients, Orbit Housing, has helped by making a donation of £1000, a year’s worth of stickers to label up sandwiches and food, and PPE for volunteers and clients. Crucially, at the beginning of lockdown, when the rough sleepers were placed into emergency housing, Orbit helped us donate a week’s food for 50 rough sleepers.

Even though Nightwatch is dealing with the rough sleeping emergency, it understands that it still has a part to play in protecting the environment.  Using the proceeds of our work with Orbit Housing, we have been able to replace Nightwatch’s drinking cups with biodegradable alternatives.  The move will stop 200 non-recyclable, single use plastic cups from entering the waste stream every night. While all of these projects have been at the sharp end of homeless care, our work with Orbit has helped us rebuild lives and help take people off the streets for good and into work.  

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