Here at Urban Partners, we’re committed to making our neighbourhood a better place to live, work and do business. We are in regular contact with a range of charities from the local area so we can better understand how our local businesses and employees can help them achieve their objectives.
Each month, we spotlight a specific charity, in order to better educate local employees about the work they do. This month we visited the team at St Mungo’s.
Name of Charity: St Mungo’s
St Mungo’s is a charity and housing association working directly with people every day who are sleeping rough, in hostels and at risk of homelessness. From supporting people away from rough sleeping, through to helping people rebuild their lives and fulfil their hopes and ambitions, they’re there for every step of the journey away from homelessness.
‘We are here to end homelessness and rebuild lives’
At St Mungo’s, each night a bed and support is provided to more than 2,700 people – but they know that it takes more than a roof over someone’s head to end homelessness. While sleeping rough is the most visible form of homelessness, the causes and consequences of having nowhere stable to live are often much more complicated. That’s why they’ve developed a recovery based approach for our clients, focusing on addressing the issues a person faces to help them move on with their lives.
People experiencing homelessness often face a number of issues, commonly involving feelings of isolation, mental health problems, and drug or alcohol use. St Mungo’s works with people to understand their goals, and then helps them to achieve those goals as they believe this is the best way to overcome these issues.
St Mungo’s have developed numerous services over their 50 year history, offering the basics such as temporary shelter or longer term accommodation, but also a wide variety of projects designed to help people with their confidence, skills and experience.
They strive to support people as they take control of their own recovery.
‘Our role, our privilege, is to foster the right environment, so people can bring about their own changes, in their own way. Time and again we’ve shown that people can, and do, move on from the problems that caused them to become homeless. We also believe that with well-timed and carefully crafted support, we can help everyone into a place to call home, so they can fulfil their hopes and ambitions.’
Success Stories and Case Study:
Brick by brick to recovery
St Mungo’s client, CarrieAnn, shares the story of her love for building work at St Mungo’s Bricks and Mortar project and how learning new skills is helping her to recover from drug misuse.
“I was on cocaine for about nine years, and with that came heavy drinking, but that was when I was using. I realised I was spiralling out of control, then I decided that I needed to get help, so I referred myself to a day recovery programme. They referred me here to St Mungo’s Bricks and Mortar project in Euston, London. The project helps people recover from homelessness through social and therapeutic construction skills development.
I’m 34 years old. I have had four years of decorating experience with my step dad. I was a labourer for him and he taught me how to paint. From there I came here and I’ve been here about eight months. I finished my course, which covered bricking, plastering, dry lining, rendering, and now I do wet lining. Since finishing the course, I’ve gone into volunteering.
I’m a very hands on person. I’m dyslexic so I steer away from reading and writing. Actually, St Mungo’s Brick and Mortar Tutor, John Gani, taught me to pick up a newspaper every morning on the way in – so I’m reading a little bit now. I like anything hands on, building things, decorating is my favourite. I find decorating therapeutic. When I have thoughts in my head and I am feeling a bit down I find a paint brush and a wall to paint. It takes me into my own little world.
Coming here has made me realise I now have a future ahead of me, instead of the darkness where I was. I’ve learned more skills. Every morning I look forward to coming here because I know I will learn something new. It gives me a reason to get up.
I was not good at travelling, now I realise I am ok – I used to be terrified of the tube. I live in Battersea, so when I first started I used to take a really long route to get here, not knowing there was a quicker route. Coming here has been really good for my confidence.
People who come here are from different walks of life. When I first started the course I met people here as they were finishing. I don’t know how they were when they first arrived here, but they walked out of here full of confidence. I am more confident in myself. We all get on and know that if there’s a problem, we can talk to the boss – he can have a quiet word to sort out any confusion.
Not only do I get to learn new skills, I am in recovery as well. The tutors are amazing; they’re both in recovery with us. There was an incident a couple of weeks ago. I walked in and one of the tutors knew straight away that something was wrong. I went to walk out and he said, ‘stop’. When I turned around, I completely had a meltdown. I’d had a slight relapse. Because I’m in recovery I stay away from cocaine. But I had used some and it was eating me up inside because I knew it was wrong. The advice my tutor gave me was amazing.
There are a few others in recovery here. The advice we get from tutors helps us stay clean. They share with us what they’ve learned, and with their encouragement we know we can do it.
Set up almost ten years ago, St Mungo’s Bricks and Mortar project offers practical skills in construction, including, plastering, rendering, brickwork and dry lining. The course is accredited so students leave with a basic entry qualification in construction.”
How to Donate:
To donate, please visit the St Mungo’s website
How to Volunteer:
To volunteer, please visit the volunteering portal, which shows their current volunteering opportunities.
How to Provide Corporate Support:
If you would like to explore how you can work together in partnership with St Mungo’s, please contact them via email or on 020 3856 6000