Government won’t meet its target to end rough sleeping by 2024 says panel of experts
Chronic and unresolved systemic issues have left country exposed to rising homelessness
Strong partnership working and a shared purpose made a massive reduction to rough sleeping during the pandemic, but we are now beyond ways of working. The current Government and next administration must take urgent action to address the rapidly rising rates of homelessness and rough sleeping, which stem from a severe shortage in affordable housing, a lack of appropriate support services, and a cost-of-living crisis that is pushing more and more people into homelessness. This is the recommendation of the latest report of the Kerslake Commission, established to learn the lessons from Everyone In, a report which is a blueprint for tackling homelessness and rough sleeping and a tribute to its former Chair, Lord Bob Kerslake.
Latest national official figures show a 26% increase in rough sleeping and the highest rates of people living in temporary accommodation on record. As political parties prepare for their party conferences, the Commission recommends three key principles that should guide the next administration’s approach to end homelessness and rough sleeping for good:
Prevent people from getting to the brink of homelessness – We need to be preventing people from reaching crisis point and becoming homeless or at risk of homelessness
No one should need to arrive on to the streets to get help – Where people are at risk of rough sleeping, there should be a cross sector effort to make timely and effective interventions that prevent an episode of rough sleeping
Everyone should have a route out of rough sleeping – For anyone who is rough sleeping, there needs to be a meaningful and tailored offer which will take them away from the streets for good
The report is clear that the Government will not meet its goal to end rough sleeping by 2024. In fact, rough sleeping is on the increase and at the heart of it are chronic and unresolved systemic issues, which have left the country vulnerable to new pressures. The report warns that many of the problems outlined would be resolved if there was more supply of social rented housing and supported housing and likens the scale of the challenges to early 20th century Britain.
Drawing on evidence from local authorities, homelessness service providers and people with lived experience, the Kerslake Commission strongly advocates that prevention and system change must form the basis of a robust response, rather than solely responding to people in crisis. In the interim, the Commission is urgently calling on the Government to increase housing benefit so that it covers local affordable rents.
Responding to the report, St Mungo’s Chief Executive, Emma Haddad, said: “The dedication of people working throughout the homelessness sector shines through the report, but it sets out starkly that we are working against the tide. The chronic shortage of affordable housing and appropriate support services means we are just responding to people already in crisis rather than preventing them from reaching that point in the first place. The recommendations give a clear set of actions to both the current Government and the next administration that would make a big difference to tackling rough sleeping and homelessness. They would do well to listen to the expert voices contained in the report.
“We made so much progress on rough sleeping during the pandemic, which clearly demonstrated what can be done when we work together with a shared purpose and dedicated funding. It’s time we applied the same energy to stop this homelessness and rough sleeping crisis spiralling further.
“When Bob Kerslake died in July 2023, we lost a staunch ally of the homelessness sector. This report is a tribute to him and his life’s work.”
The Kerslake family said: “After over 40 years as a public servant, many of which were spent on delivering quality homes and environments, Bob was saddened and dismayed by the rise of homelessness across our country. He was proud to chair the commission and totally committed to its findings. He would have been vociferous in publishing its conclusions and recommendations.
“His main focus would have been persuading those who have the power to make positive changes to read this report in depth, then work together to meet those recommendations. As his family, we firmly believe that this would be a fitting tribute to a great man who worked tirelessly for the betterment of others.”
The Kerslake Commission was steered and directed by Lord Bob Kerslake until his untimely passing in July 2023 and this report has been built from his legacy.
St Mungo’s urges Government to support homeless Londoners as homelessness figures rise by 9%
Thisrepresents a9% increase comparedwith the2,998people recordedassleeping rough in the same period the previous year.
ThelatestCHAINdata revealed,of those people sleepingrough, that:
1,614were doing so for the first time,12% higher than the same period last year
411peoplewere considered to beliving on the streets.
1,285 people were seen intermittently sleeping rough, which is8% higher than the same period last year.
Emma Haddad,Chief Executive ofStMungo’s, said:
“It is desperately sadthat the number of people sleeping rough inLondon continues to rise.Theongoingfailure to address the severe housing shortageandaffordability crisis is clear.
“As rentsspiral,more and more London residentsarefalling into homelessness.We knowthat less than 2% of rental properties in the capital are affordableforpeople receivingHousing Benefit.Once again, we are calling on the Governmenttourgently increase HousingBenefit sothatitproperly reflects the cost ofrenting. Without immediate intervention,homelessnessin London willsimplyworsen.
“St Mungo’s services across the city continue to worktirelessly with theincreasing number of peoplewho needoursupport to rebuildtheir livesaway from the streets.”
St Mungo’s wins another London Homelessness Award
St Mungo’s Roma Rough Sleeping Team has been announced as a winner of the London Homelessness Awards.
The London Homelessness Awards (LHA)recognise projects across London which use creativity, imagination and initiative to improve services for people experiencing homelessness.
The team will receive a share of a £60,000 prize fund, with details to be announced at a ceremony in November.
The Roma Rough Sleeping Team, funded by the GLA through the Rough Sleeping Initiative, works to:
challenge discrimination against people from the Roma community
demonstrate that it is possible to deliver sustainable homelessness interventions that enable people to end their rough sleeping for good
provide tailored, culturally competent casework directly to Roma clients who are rough sleeping in London.
The team has helped over 200 individuals get the specialist support they need to continue with their recovery. This includes culturally aware drop-in sessions that improve access to immigration advice and healthcare services.
The service is delivered in partnership with The Passage, who provide immigration advice and bespoke support to Roma clients to enter employment including in work support as they settle into their new job. The Roma Rough Sleeping Team will use the prize money to enhance the support they are able to provide to individuals who are seeking employment.
Nico Bitu, Service Manager, Roma Rough Sleeping Team says: “It has been a real team effort, and I have a deep respect for each of my team members, in particular for the dedication, determination, and resilience that they have shown in ending rough sleeping for our Roma clients. There are many challenges ahead and lots of hard work to be done, but the recognition that comes with this award will give us energy for the years to come.”
David Fisher, Executive Director of Client Services, adds: “I am delighted for the Roma Rough Sleeping Team that their amazing work has been recognised by the London Homelessness Awards. It emphasises how important their work is in supporting Roma people to have equal access to services and support. The team also share their knowledge and expertise with London local authorities and have trained hundreds of professionals on culturally competent responses to Roma rough sleeping. Everyone at St Mungo’s is very proud of their work.”
Find out more about the awards and the nominated projects here.
Response to Unite the Union ballot rejecting 29 June 2023 offer
Emma Haddad, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said:
“We are extremely disappointed that Unite the Union’s members have voted to reject the offer we negotiated with Unite at ACAS on 29 June 2023 and proposed jointly with Unite to its members.
“We understand the pressures that the cost living crisis is placing on some of our colleagues and we went to great lengths to put forward a comprehensive 10-part package. This included a new consolidated pay offer designed to support colleagues and significant improvements to the wider benefit package.
“Had the offer been accepted, over 90% of colleagues would have received a minimum increase of £2,975 for the current financial year when added to the annual pay award. In percentage terms, this would have meant a pay rise of 7-14%.
“We have made a series of payments and offers that attempt to support colleagues through this difficult period. All our offers have been additional to the annual pay rise.
“It is highly regrettable Unite has not accepted the latest offer at a time when the demand for our services is increasing. We need to ensure the charity is sustainable going forward so we can continue to deliver services to some of the most vulnerable people in society.
“This outcome means negotiations, through ACAS, must continue so we can bring an end to this unprecedented period of strike action.
“We remain committed to supporting people recovering from, or at risk of, homelessness and continue to do this vital work during our ongoing negotiations with Unite.”
– Ends –
Notes to Editors
ACAS is the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and is an independent public body which receives government funding. It works with employers and employees to improve workplace relationships.
The 10-part package agreed at ACAS was as follows:
A consolidated St Mungo’s allowance in addition to nationally agreed pay awards, payable alongside and in addition to base salary to everyone on up to and including National Joint Council (NJC) pay point 36 (including locums), effective from 1 April 2023. This will be £1,050 per person (pro rata for part time workers).
An increase in annual leave from 25 days to 28 days as a minimum for everyone in the organisation and for all new joiners, and an increase to 31 days for those with over 5 years’ service (both pro-rata for part time workers). In addition, the removal of the drop in annual leave when moving to a new role. An extra three days’ annual leave represents a notional increase of 1.3%.
The temporary mileage uplift to become permanent.
A review of the wider package of benefits within the next six months, with a commitment to ensure family friendly policies (e.g. maternity and paternity leave, carers’ leave, sickness and compassionate leave) are modern and competitive.
The removal of the probationary period when moving to a new role internally.
To ensure transparency, a commitment to an external review of spot rate pay (pay outside of the NJC scale), and ongoing, regular conversations in the Joint National Committee regarding senior roles and senior pay. A further commitment to consult with the Leadership Team about their pay award in 2023-24. In addition, to consult with the Leadership Team on the pay disparity concerns voiced by Unite members, and on not increasing the size of Leadership Team Plus.
A commitment to establish a well-being fund for teams to access, working with colleagues to define and create it.
A commitment to continue lobbying, with partners, for better funding across the homelessness sector.
A commitment to sharing financial information quarterly with the whole organisation. Unite commit to use this information with the intention of working together to avoid future disputes.
Early payment of the 2023-24 NJC pay award that is still being negotiated, with a view to paying the difference once the final award is agreed, in line with our recognition agreement.
The proposed pay increase was worth:
4% to 5% for those earning £25,000.
3.5% to 4% for those earning £30,000.
when combined with the 2023-24 NJC pay award, which we know will be a minimum of £1,925 per person, the total increase in 2023-24 will be between:
10% and 14.6% for everyone up to pay point 15.
7.4% and 11.1% for everyone on pay points 17 to 30.
Lord Bob Kerslake: “a dedicated champion of the homelessness sector”
Following the death of Lord Bob Kerslake, Chair of the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping, our Chief Executive Emma Haddad responds:
“On behalf of everyone at St Mungo’s, we are deeply saddened to learn of thedevastating passing of Lord Bob Kerslake. Bob was a dedicated champion of the homelessness sector, with a deep-rooted commitment to end rough sleeping. For decades, Bob was a hugely influential leader within housing, homelessness and local government and his death will be felt across the many people and organisations he led and inspired.
“Over the past years, St Mungo’s has worked closely with Bob in his role as Chair of the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping. Bob’s caring, principled and committed approachwas at the heart of the Commission’s work and will continue to inspire its members and the wider sector.
“We are deeply touched by Bob’s wish for peopleto donate to St Mungo’s as part of remembering his life and legacy, in lieu of flowers. Bob’s lasting impact on our organisation will continue to sustain us in our work toend homelessness and rebuild lives. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends and all who had the good fortune to know him.”
Emma Haddad speaks on women’s homelessness at ADASS Spring Seminar 2023
St Mungo’s CEO, Emma Haddad spoke this morning at the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) Spring Seminar on the subject of women’s homelessness.
“I’m the chief executive of St. Mungo’s. It’s a homelessness organisation, many of you probably have come across us. We support around 30,000 people per year who are experiencing homelessness or recovering from homelessness. And of those we accommodate, we have we provide beds for around 3,000 people per night.
And it’s an important day to be talking about homelessness. The latest stats figures for rough sleeping in London were released this morning, just about an hour ago, and show yet again, an increase in the numbers sadly, although not surprisingly. So we’ve just seen a 14% increase in the last quarter of last year of the number of people sleeping rough in comparison with the same time last year.
And when you look at the annual figures, which were released not long ago back in February, they gave a snapshot of a of a night in autumn 2022, and that showed a 26% increase in the number of people sleeping rough in England, England wide on the previous year. Of those people 13% were women.
What do we know about women sleeping rough and women who are homeless? We know actually that we’re not looking at the true figure. Because sleeping rough and being homeless can often exacerbate the risks and the dangers to women. And we know that they are often hidden, hidden from the figures hidden from street counts and therefore hidden from help as well a lot of the time. So whereas you often find men who are homeless are actually bedded down on the street and visible and able to access outreach teams and that kind of thing, women often keep moving or they will hide themselves away, or they will sleep on public transport and that kind of thing. So that 15% figure is not the true figure.
So that just gives you a bit of context of some numbers and women within those numbers. And then in terms of complexities with which women who are homeless present, they are stark – the health inequalities that homeless people in general face are stark. The average age of death, tragically, for people who have experienced homelessness is incredibly low. It is 45 years for men and is 43 years old for women. And women have physical issues, mental health issues. They are often engaged in high risk substance use and alcohol, and trauma underpins most of their experience of homelessness.
Let me just give you a few facts and figures to illustrate some of some of these health needs. So trauma is usually present in almost every client that we work with and support in St. Mungo’s who has experienced homelessness: trauma from childhood from neglect; from family breakdown; from poverty; as well as from what they’ve experienced in adulthood or might still be experiencing in adulthood. And domestic violence is a big part of that sadly for women. And in 2018, research from the University of York said experience of domestic violence and abuse is near universal amongst women who become homeless.
That trauma as I said, can be due to lots of lots of things. That domestic violence can be continuing even when they’re seeking refuge and support and have become homeless. We also know sadly, there are lots of people who can’t leave the perpetrator. This is often people who have limited status in the UK and it’s very hard for them to find alternative places to sleep because they don’t have access to benefits or services. And so they can kind of find themselves trapped. That trauma can also come from experiences of parenthood, and almost half of the female clients that we work with and support in St Mungo’s are parents and the level of contact with their children varies. Some do have contact some particularly through social media or that kind of thing, but a good half have had their children taken into care or adopted and many have separated permanently and have no contact and that is a another thing that adds to the trauma quite clearly and adds to the mental health implications and often the substance use as well.
And then in terms of physical health, in 2021, I’ll give you figures just from about a year ago, but 57% of the women we were supporting in any of our accommodation services had a physical health need, 81% had a had a known and assessed mental health need, 32% had alcohol related health support needs, and 49% had drug support needs. So the health implications of women who’ve experienced homelessness are acute and high. And it’s often all of those things all together. Women can present as homeless, with substance misuse, with alcohol misuse, with trauma, with domestic violence going on. And we’ve got physical and mental ill health so recovery is extremely, extremely hard.
What we found is probably stating the obvious a bit, but women only support services are key to that recovery. And can make a massive, massive difference although sadly, they are in short supply. We have around four women only services across St Mungo’s. We know that asking women to come in for support in hostile environments or temporary accommodation where it’s mixed, that mixed environment will probably be predominantly men. We often try and separate people out and have women only corridors or floors of buildings but they often don’t even feel safe coming into that kind of environment and will prefer to go back home where it’s not safe or stay on the streets moving around where it’s where it’s also not safe. So very, very hard to help women recover in those mixed environments and make them feel safe.
In 2018, again a slightly out of date figure, but I don’t think it’s changed dramatically: only 11% of the homelessness accommodation services in England were women only and that had come down from 13% a few years previously. And due to that, some of the refuge accommodation for women particularly who have been experiencing domestic abuse or violence is not appropriate for our client group, they won’t necessarily take clients women with drug or alcohol addiction and often don’t have the specialists support and staff on site for those with severe mental health needs. And so, we found that women only support services or women only accommodation environments are absolutely key and have such a positive effect on the recovery, and the building of trust, and the working with women to help them recover and move forward in their lives.
One of the other things that we’ve been running and trialling is what we’ve called the safe space psychotherapy service. And this has been running in North London across the Camden homelessness pathway. And what it’s there for is a trauma informed therapeutic service. It’s there for women who’ve experienced trauma or homelessness, multiple disadvantage complexity and who might otherwise struggle to access traditional therapeutic services.What do I mean by that? Often they’re put off from approaching surfaces because of the trauma or a historic trauma because of their previous interactions with services and that kind of thing. And building trust is really, really hard. It’s also hard for people with slightly chaotic lifestyles, to keep their appointments, even things like that. So what we’ve had is a therapist who comes into our services at known times each week, moves across the different services. It’s an open door policy people can drop in no appointment, no referral, no assessment, no judgement. Women can pop in when they want to. They can stop coming if they want to. But that doesn’t mean that their case is closed. They can come back when they feel they want to as well.
And we’ve found that you know even just dropping in for a chat or going for a walk or having a cup of tea without a formal plan as such necessarily, can be massively positive. We’re just taking that through an evaluation at the moment and seeing what we’ve learned from that and whether it’s a good model to roll out, but we’ve certainly seen some benefits for women in our services in terms of social care more generally.
A year ago we published what we call the Life Changing Care report about the care needs of those who are homeless. 5% of our clients are believed to have dementia, 12% experienced self neglect, and 29% have deteriorating health. 24% we found were not receiving the care that currently meets their needs. As I said earlier, we know that homelessness and rough sleeping in particular can cause all sorts of health, physical and mental health issues. People experiencing homelessness have premature ageing frailty, life changing and life limiting health conditions and in the extreme a very, very early death. So there are extraordinary care needs.
Sadly, there are very, very few residential care services that cater for people with those needs. We actually run a couple of care homes specifically for men who have been homeless and who generally still have a high alcohol addiction and but they wouldn’t have been able to access mainstream care homes. It’s not necessarily that care homes exclude people who have experienced homelessness but often due to the complexity of their needs, they’re in effect excluded because they can’t be cared for appropriately.
But there are other issues around the care system. There are issues with long delays in waiting for assessments, accessing assessments, and as I said earlier, a system that isn’t designed to cater for the very specific needs often have clients who, and women in particular who’ve experienced or are experiencing homelessness. So barriers in terms of their addictions, barriers in terms of people who may struggle to keep appointments and interact with practitioners.
Without those support services to meet their needs, interventions aren’t either available to meet the needs or they’re not meeting all the needs and that means that women in particular, but people who’ve experienced homelessness in general can get stuck. They often get stuck in a hostel environment, and it’s very, very hard to help people move on to independent living. If that care structure isn’t going to be there. They’re often very far from being able to look after themselves in the private rented sector, for example, without that kind of support, and can also get caught in that cycle of their health, mental health and physical health not improving, and sadly also ending up back in homelessness at the extreme.
So what can what can ADASS directors do here? What can you help us with in the sector, is a real understanding of the specific needs not just of women but of women who have been or are experiencing homelessness. And what that means in terms of the complexities of what they are experiencing, and how much tailored care and support is really needed for them. It needs to be this very person centred, very trauma informed, very flexible and have that empathy of what women have been through. There’s a huge element of how you build trust with women who’ve experienced homelessness and all of the trauma that that has caused, or the trauma that led to it, and how you build that trust, particularly as well for women who have had their children taken into care to interact again with social services or social care. It’s very, very difficult for many of them.
And I would also suggest that we need much better data. So there is a problem, as I said at the beginning in general about women who are homeless because they’re often hidden from the counts and hidden from their support services. But data in general around the specific care needs of women experiencing these multiple complexities and what kind of service they’re getting and whether that’s meeting their needs. And finally, just a plea for us to work together across the system as we do. There’s more that we can do, because it has such a multifaceted effect on women, and the causes of homelessness are so multifaceted, that it has to be a multi agency, cross system approach to ensuring women get the care to prevent them from falling into homelessness in the first place, ideally. But if they do, making it as brief as possible and helping them recover in a sustainable way so they don’t fall back into homelessness.”
Flagship homelessness service opened by HRH The Duke of Kent
Staff and clients of leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s welcomed a very special guest to their Grange Road service when His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent visited to officially open the recently refurbished project.
His Royal Highness, who is Patron of St Mungo’s, visited last week (21 March) and was given a tour of the building which is located in Southwark, London, before meeting residents and workers.
With funding from St Mungo’s, the City of London Corporation and the Greater London Authority, the Grange Road site has been completely refurbished to reflect St Mungo’s ethos that the design and quality of buildings and the principles of Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) support clients as they recover from homelessness.
The service delivery is funded by the City Corporation, and expands the range of accommodation, support and routes away from homelessness for those who have slept rough in the Square Mile.
Emma Haddad, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s said: ‘’The transformation of Grange Road is an excellent example of what can be achieved by collaborative partnership working between St Mungo’s, the City of London Corporation and the Greater London Authority.
“At St Mungo’s it’s not just about getting people off the streets and into a bed, it’s also about providing an environment to recover. The last two years of hard work has resulted in this amazing flagship facility which will help support hundreds of clients for years to come.
“It was so wonderful that His Royal Highness was able to come and officially open the service and to spend some time with residents and staff.”
Grange Road resident Darren, who met with The Duke during his visit, said: “I’d been on the streets for two years before coming here, I was offered a room by St Mungo’s during the recent cold weather.
“It was a blessing, it is so nice to have somewhere clean and safe to stay. I really like my room, it’s great to have my own personal space.
“It was nice to meet His Royal Highness, it’s a bit different for me to be chatting to a member of The Royal Family!”
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Community and Children’s Services Committee, Ruby Syed, said: “We are proud to invest £700,000 every year in the new Grange Road hostel, which is helping some of the Square Mile’s most vulnerable rough sleepers with complex needs.
“Working with our partners we are helping more people than ever before, supporting rough sleepers into long term accommodation, and providing access to mental health services, GP registrations, and dental care.”
Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development at the Greater London Authority, Tom Copley, said: “I am delighted that we’ve been able to help St Mungo’s to transform their flagship Grange Road service to better support homeless Londoners on their recovery journey.
“The Mayor and I are committed to tackling rough sleeping and through the hard work of Our City Hall team and charity partners we’ve managed to help a record 13,500 people as we work to build a fairer London for all.”
The new Grange Road facility includes a welcoming reception area, a choice of environments for staff and clients to interact in including confidential meeting rooms, break out spaces, training, communal areas and occasional dining areas.
There is a work zone, staff administration and wellbeing areas, two gardens, as well as 29 refurbished bed spaces some of which are en-suite with kitchenettes.
The new service will provide psychological and trauma informed support to clients with multiple needs who require intense and personalised support to positively progress as they recover from homelessness.
The service welcomed its first clients in November 2022 and currently accommodates 29 people.
St Mungo’s makes reality of women’s homelessness ‘visible’ with new social media campaign
To mark International Women’s Day (Wednesday 8 March) leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s is highlighting the reality of homelessness for women.
The charity has created a range of content which it will share on social media which illustrate some of the ways women adapt to being homeless and how it can lead to them being ‘hidden’ from official statistics. The posts feature the real-life experiences of some of the charity’s female clients.
According to the most recent figures only 15% of people rough sleeping across England on a typical night in 2022 were women, but we know many are hidden from the statistics.
Women’s homelessness often occurs after prolonged experiences of trauma, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse by those closest to them. Violence and abuse are both a cause and consequence of women’s homelessness, with women experiencing further abuse, exploitation and violence while homeless.
Jill Thursby, Women and Domestic Abuse Lead, St Mungo’s, said: “People often think of homelessness as a men’s issue, but we have found women also experience homelessness and face the additional burden of gender-based violence and abuse when on the streets.
“We know many women are ‘hidden homeless’ as it’s dangerous to be visible so they may seek shelter somewhere, squat or sofa surf with friends or family and therefore are missing from the official statistics.
“That is why we wanted to draw attention to this and highlight the reality for many women experiencing homelessness and International Women’s Day was the ideal time. Hopefully our ‘Invisible Women’ campaign with help inform people and challenge some stereotypes about this important issue.
“At St Mungo’s our teams are dedicated to advocating for the unique needs of women experiencing homelessness with local and national government, to improving services and working with our partners to make sure women get the support they need.”
At the charity:
Women make up 24% of St Mungo’s clients in housing related support services
Almost half of the female clients have experienced domestic violence.
19% had experienced abuse as a child, compared with 5% and 8% of men.
Sophia, St Mungo’s client, said about her times on the streets: “There was a couple of situations I put myself into, dangerous situations. Sleeping in the park sometimes. But in the park at night-time there was no lights so it’d be absolutely pitch black. So I’d be absolutely scared because you can’t see nothing. And I could hear a few noises but other than that, just horrible.
“Now I’m feeling great. Because my mood’s uplifted. St Mungo’s supported me. That’s what they do they keep people safe.”
St Mungo’s has supported more than 1,100 women with accommodation from October to December last year.
St Mungo’s services work with women at all stages of homelessness, from women in prison at risk of losing their tenancy, to women sleeping rough, living in hostels and moving into independence. Almost one third (31%) of St Mungo’s supported housing residents are women, the charity runs women-only accommodation projects in London and Bristol.
Follow @StMungo’s on Twitter to learn more about ‘Visible Women’.
St Mungo’s recognised as Stonewall Top 100 Employer
Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s has once again been named as one of the most inclusive employers in the UK.
The organisation has been ranked at number 24 in recognition of its commitment to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people in the workplace.
Stonewall has also awarded St Mungo’s a prestigious Gold Award, which celebrates organisations that go above and beyond to empower LGBTQIA+ staff members to be themselves at work.
For the great inclusion work achieved by its LGBTQIA+ employee network group, St Mungo’s has also received a Highly Commended Network Group award.
Emma Haddad, Chief Executive at St Mungo’s said:
“One of the reasons that I joined St Mungo’s was its genuine commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
“I have seen myself the fabulous colleague networks we have which support and encourage people to be their true selves while at work.
“It is fantastic to have this recognised by Stonewall with the inclusion in its Top 100 list and to have been given the Gold Award and Network Group award. We will continue working with our LGBTQIA+ colleagues to ensure we are truly inclusive.”
Alice Moore, Head of Involvement and Inclusion, at St Mungo’s said:
“I see every day the great work at St Mungo’s, ensuring all staff are supported and celebrated. We passionately believe our values, consciously working to make sure we are genuinely inclusive. It means a great deal for our great work to be recognised by Stonewall.”
The Stonewall Top 100 Employers chart the best performing employers on Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2022, an annual audit of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff.
Equality and diversity are central to St Mungo’s values and the charity ensures that LGBTQIA+ awareness and inclusion are part of how clients and staff are supported.
The St Mungo’s LGBTQIA+ Network inputs into diversity training, internal policy reviews and supports staff; raises awareness of LGBTQIA+ equality through LGBT History Month, nationwide Pride events and influences organisations development and service provision.
St Mungo’s clients record Christmas song
People recovering from homelessness with leading charity St Mungo’s have written and recorded a Christmas song to celebrate togetherness and sharing.
“The Christmas Message” came together during an online song writing group as part of the digital Recovery College during the pandemic, and has recently been recorded by four clients.
It was written by St Mungo’s client Mike, who said: “I wrote these lyrics the first Christmas after my son was murdered and it’s about peace and reconciliation and togetherness and sharing. It was really great working with everyone at St Mungo’s Recovery College. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to write a song like this.
“The music production course at St Mungo’s is brilliant and it’s been invaluable through the recovery process. It was a really good and positive experience working with everyone on the project and a real collaborative effort. They really helped me express these difficult feelings in the most difficult times, so I will always be grateful for that”.
Client Julie’s vocals appear on the song. She said: “It sounds so great, you can hear all the different personalities. It’s such a peaceful song. This experience has given me a fantastic understanding of creating music in such a diverse group.”