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Project information

The House of St Barnabas Employment Programme #12

The House of St Barnabas is a London-based charity and social enterprise, working to break the cycle of homelessness. Our Employment Academy runs 3-month Employment Programmes, helping people affected by homelessness and social exclusion on their journeys back into lasting paid work.

February 2018 - April 2018

Charity information: The House Of St Barnabas

The House Of St Barnabas logo
  • Need


    Homelessness in the UK has risen by 50% since 2010. Limited access to education and employment is a key factor in the perpetuation of homelessness; although 37% of homeless people in the UK have no qualifications, only 19% are taking part in training or educational activity. Westminster is rated as having among the highest levels of homelessness and rough-sleeping in the UK, and is the second most unaffordable borough in London, with 2% of its population living in temporary accommodation.


    Our Employment Academy aims to break the cycle of homelessness by equipping people with the skills & experience needed to get back into paid employment as a route away from homelessness & unstable accommodation. We accept all ages, experiences & backgrounds onto our programmes, which are accredited by City&Guilds. We work with Employer Partners to ensure that graduates have access to good job opportunities & ongoing support from our team. So far, 68% of graduates have found work within a year.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To support up to 100 people per year into lasting paid employment.


    » Provide training, work experience and job opportunities within our social business.

    What success will look like

    Our Employment Support Officers remain in touch with our alumni for a year after graduating, keeping up-to-date information on each person's employment status.

    Aim 2

    To increase the confidence and wellbeing of people affected by homelessness.


    » Run workshops on wellbeing and personal effectiveness throughout our programme, as well as 12 months of mentoring post-graduation.

    What success will look like

    We conduct post-programme surveys at regular intervals, tracking people's social engagement and general sense of wellbeing and control over their own lives.

    Aim 3

    Open up access to culture to the economically disadvantaged, helping them to re-engage in society.


    » Host regular cultural events: talks, concerts & performances, which our participants can attend and engage with.

    What success will look like

    For each ticket sold to our cultural events, we give one to someone who otherwise would be unable to afford it. Our surveys record the wider impact of this on our graduates' lives.

  • Impact


    Our long-term vision is a society where all are able to access stable, lasting employment, and are paid the London Living Wage. We work constantly with our partners to advocate for better employment opportunities for all, and hope to be a living 'best in work' example. We will demonstrate the impact of our work by showcasing the successes of our graduates, and will discern our wider impact through the number of people we have supported back into decent work, with improved prospects and lives.


    Our participants face many barriers on their journeys into employment. Or team are experienced in supporting people with a range of needs: mental & physical health issues, addiction, & debt. Inevitably, a small number of people won't be able to complete our full programme, but the regular 121s with our dedicated Employment Support team are a key reason why so many are able to succeed. Our social business model means that we have a diverse financial model to protect against times of difficulty.


    We could not do the work we do without the generosity of our donors, and we continually keep them up-to-date with our work. Many choose to receive our newsletter, and our major donors are sent impact reports, success stories and invitations to our graduation ceremonies in some cases.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £114,575

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      Amount Heading Description
      £14,666 Participant expenses Including travel and subsistence
      £6,333 Programme delivery Including external provider costs and resources
      £6,066 Mentoring costs Training and supporting volunteer mentors
      £78,455 Staff salaries 8 x Employment Academy employees
      £9,055 Other costs Including alumni costs, evaluation costs and accommodation pathway project costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Grant-making trusts, major donors and corporate partnerships £52,350 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The House of St Barnabas is based at 1 Greek Street, Soho in Westminster, the area where we have existed since being founded in 1846. We moved into our building, a Georgian townhouse in 1862, and continue to serve the needs of the wider London community to this day. Our Employment Programme participants come from across London; if they are feasibly able to travel to our premises each day then they are eligible to take part. As we grow, we hope to be able to help those in need further afield.


    Our Programme is for people who have been affected by homelessness and social exclusion, and are ready to take the step into employment. To apply to the programme, each person must have a key worker (who tend to come from our referral partners), and have been substance abuse-free for three months. They should also be in stable, if temporary accommodation. We accept all genders, ages (18 and over), and experience levels, and find the diversity of our cohorts creates a supportive group dynamic.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are the first in the world to run a not-for-profit members' club that exists solely to support our Employment Academy, providing vital training and employment opportunities. We know of no other organisation offering the 'full package' of support: holistic training, work experience, accredited qualifications and a year of post-programme support and mentoring. Prior to our first Employment Programme in 2013, we have supported homeless people for 150 years, and our team has decades of experience

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Our Employment Support Officer has weekly 121s with our participants, and is crucial in securing each individual's success.


    The Director of our Employment Academy - whose strategy for the expansion and improvement of our work helps us support ever more people.


    Our Employment Academy Manager, who puts together our unique training programme to give all participants an invaluable learning experience.

“For me it wasn’t just about going back to work – it was about learning to feel okay in the world again.”

Graduate from our Employment Programme