Minister meets residents and volunteers at project for rough sleepers

21 November 2016

Lord Bourne, who speaks on behalf of the government on homelessness in the Lords, visited The Lodge today, to meet residents of the St Mungo’s project for former rough sleepers and volunteers from the property company Telereal Trillium to mark Mitzvah Day.

Mitzvah Day is the UK’s biggest faith-based day of social action, where 40,000 volunteers in Britain and beyond will give their time, not their money, to make a difference to the communities around them. This year’s Mitzvah Day takes place on Sunday November 27, with many projects also happening throughout the preceding week.

This is the fifth consecutive year Telereal Trillium has marked Mitzvah Day by supporting the work of St Mungo’s. Volunteers from the company provided IT drop-in sessions and cooked, as well as shared dinner with residents at The Lodge, the charity’s project in the City of London which provides accommodation and support for older people who have slept rough over many years.

Lord Bourne toured the project and took time to talk to residents, staff and the volunteers.

Communities Minister Lord Bourne said: “Mitzvah Day continues to inspire people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to give something back to their local communities. It means thousands of people across the country will set aside this one day to help others, creating lasting understanding and friendships between people from a variety of different backgrounds. I was delighted to see the practical contribution volunteers are making at The Lodge for St Mungo’s – both to mark this particular occasion, and every other day of the year.”

Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said: “We want to end homelessness and help rebuild lives. That is why the generous support of volunteers and the wider community is vital, as well as government programmes and funding. We thank Lord Bourne and Telereal Trillium for choosing to mark Mitzvah Day in support of our residents and our work.”

Graeme Edwards, Chief Executive at Telereal Trillium and long-term supporter of Mitzvah Day, said: “Telereal Trillium’s ethos is to create value from real estate, through our business endeavours, but also through our relationships with the community. Our CR programme is hugely supported by our employees and volunteering at The Lodge for Mitzvah Day is a great opportunity to share some of their skills, and support the residents."

Mitzvah Day founder and chair, Laura Marks OBE applauded Telereal Trillium on its achievements, saying: "This was a wonderful opportunity for the Minister to see, first hand, the positive contribution that people of all faiths, and none, are making to society in these difficult times. We are very grateful for his support and input. This long-term project, with two fantastic partners, is the perfect example of the relationships that are formed on Mitzvah Day that then last all year round."

Telereal Trillium has been supporting St Mungo’s as one of its charity partners since 2011, with activities including training sessions at St Mungo’s Recovery College, Christmas present collections for St Mungo’s clients, and funding a 3-year Mentoring Programme for its skills and employment services. In September 2016, Telereal Trillium additionally ran an online charity auction for its employees with all proceeds going to St Mungo’s. 

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