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Project information

Arts & Crafts Outreach for homeless people

Your donations will support homeless and vulnerable people by giving them access to arts and crafts sessions at our Day Centre. The sessions will run in the main activities room, meaning they reach clients who may otherwise not attend. Arts and crafts can make a real difference to their lives.

January 2017 - June 2017

Charity information: The Connection at St Martin's - helping homeless people in London

The Connection at St Martin's - helping homeless people in London logo
  • Need


    Art therapy for homeless people is very beneficial. We currently hold informal drop-in sessions in our Art Room upstairs. However, we have now identified a group of clients who lack the confidence to visit the Art Room and would benefit from a more inclusive environment. Many of our clients are not work ready, and require access to meaningful occupation. Without this healthy distraction, allowing clients to cope with their problems, many would turn to destructive behaviours in order to cope.


    Our project will engage a new group of marginalised service users in Art Therapy. We will run weekly Arts & Crafts session, taught by experienced tutors and ex-homeless volunteers who have been recruited through our Step Up programme. This will facilitate access to meaningful occupation, which is therapeutically very important; will increase clients' confidence; and ultimately will encourage clients to engage better with our other services, notably our employment and training service, Workspace

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To give complete beginners the confidence to engage in and benefit from creative activities.


    » Teach basic, simple and effective techniques in a structured environment, using staff experienced in adult education, informal learning and the arts.
    » This project will be advertised around our Centre in posters, on social media, and by staff and volunteers actively encouraging service-users to join.
    » Recognise and celebrate achievements with inclusion in public exhibitions.

    What success will look like

    Success will be recruiting 8 new participants every term, 2 Step Up volunteers every term and collecting positive feedback evidencing increased confidence.

    Aim 2

    To foster a socially inclusive environment for disadvantaged homeless people.


    » The weekly sessions will be open to all, and structured to be relaxing and enjoyable to the homeless people attending.
    » We will use a communal area in the heart of our Day Centre, removing the need to venture upstairs to the Art Room in order to take part.
    » Use peer-to-peer recruitment through using our Step Up client placement volunteers to attract potential project users.

    What success will look like

    Success will be clients in attendance returning weekly to these sessions, participating well with staff, volunteers and peers, developing social networks, breaking down exclusion.

    Aim 3

    To improve the mental health, and the employability, of homeless people.


    » Taking part in a meaningful activity, such as Arts & Crafts, has proven positive effects on mental health.
    » Connection staff will be at all workshops and sessions to offer advice and support to those in crisis.
    » Offer engaged clients the opportunity to volunteer in facilitating the sessions in partnership with our Step Up programme.
    » Encourage clients to progress to engaging with more meaningful occupation and, ultimately, paid work, through linking in with our ETE service.

    What success will look like

    Success will be a stabilisation or improvement in the mental health of participants, an increase in confidence, and an increase in engagement with other Connection services.

  • Impact


    This project will meaningfully engage a client group which are often lacking in confidence and motivation, often long-term unemployed, often coping with complex needs and either rough sleeping or in hostel accommodation. This project will increase confidence, motivation and work readiness, guiding them forward with an action plan into eventual employment. We will continue this project year after year.


    Risks that could affect this project are the unpredictability of the client group we are working with. Attendance may be low. However, we are experts in working with chaotic clients, have very experienced staff, we professionally manage client expectations, and are able to effectively help clients cope with the consequences of dropping out.


    Funders of this project will receive a report at the end of each term, detailing the achievements of the clients on the course, and what action plan they have been given going forward. Funders will also be invited to the end-of-term art exhibitions.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,500 Staff and volunteers Art tutor staff and client volunteer placements
      £1,000 Materials Art materials for the course participants
      £800 Exhibition Venue hire, framing, refreshments
      £700 Other session costs Heat, Light, Cleaning, Consumables
  • Background


    This project will take place in the main room within our Day Centre. We are the busiest homelessness centre in the UK being situated in Westminster, which has 25% of all rough sleepers in England & Wales. The centre is already well established and is a welcoming and relaxing location for homeless clients.


    The primary beneficiaries are service-users of The Connection, specifically those who have not engaged with services previously. Our service-users are homeless, often long-term unemployed, with complex needs including poor mental health and abusive experiences in the past. We will also extend to other Westminster hostels, engaging those who are newly housed so that they may keep their motivation and network of support.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are pioneers in holistic service delivery to vulnerable members of society. Our art room is already very well established, and we hold several successful art exhibitions every year, showcasing our clients' work. This therapeutic art model of engagement has been proven to increase clients' engagement in other areas of our service - we have many services in our building aimed at moving people off the streets and into accommodation and employment.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Judith Russenberger

    Judith facilitates Arts & Crafts at The Connection. She is a long-term supporter and is completely dedicated to rehabilitating our homeless clients.


will pay for the cost of a specially trained art tutor to take one session.

When the wife died I was left to bring up my son. Then when my son left home I was on my own. I didn't feel right, I started getting depressed.