Thomas Miller Announces Corporate Charity Partnership with St Mungo’s

    Thomas Miller, an international provider of market-leading insurance services, is pleased to announce that it is partnering with charity St Mungo’s, to help tackle the issues faced by those experiencing homelessness across England, and support them in finding somewhere safe to call home.

    Nationally, rough sleeping in England has increased by 74% since 2010. In 2022-23, 10,053 people slept rough in London alone, an increase of 21% on the year before.

    Last year, St Mungo’s provided over 3,000 people with housing on any given night and supported over 28,000 people through their outreach, as well as helping those in need of access to safe accommodation, and learning and education programmes designed to prevent them from returning to the streets in the future and find pathways out of homelessness for good.

    Beginning in January 2024, Thomas Miller and St Mungo’s commence their two-year global corporate charity partnership, which will raise a minimum of £100,000 to support the charity’s vital work across all stages of the process, from outreach, to finding accommodation, and helping them rebuild their lives in the long term through professional skills development. Thomas Miller’s employees were the driving force for the partnership, who identified which current issues matter the most, with St Mungo’s being chosen in the subsequent charity selection vote in 2023.

    Jay Hunt, Head of Partnerships at St Mungo’s: “St Mungo’s is delighted to announce our new partnership with Thomas Miller to help further our mission to end all forms of homelessness. We are excited to see the enthusiasm within the business to work with St Mungo’s and are proud to have been selected by Thomas Miller staff as a charity they wish to champion. The generous donations will help us to continue to provide crucial services needed to end rough sleeping, and homelessness to ensure no one gets left behind.”

    Charles Fenton, Chairman of Thomas Miller: “We’re very proud to be supporting St Mungo’s vital work in helping those experiencing homelessness rebuild their lives. Nobody should be forced to sleep on the streets, and we hope that through this partnership we’re able to make a real, long-term difference, helping people escape homelessness and access the opportunities that should be available to everyone.”

    Crisis and St Mungo’s join forces for third year in a row to keep Crisis at Christmas hotel open until late-January

    Funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Greater London Authority, alongside support from St Mungo’s, will provide vital extra time for 148 people who would otherwise be sleeping rough this winter.

    National homelessness charities Crisis and St Mungo’s are teaming up for a third year, along with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), to extend the hotel-based Crisis at Christmas service in London further into the new year.

    The hotel provision, which provides each guest with their own private room, along with a dedicated support worker and access to housing and benefit advice, will now run until 19th January 2024. This extension, made possible by funding from DLUHC and support from the GLA, as well as the generous support of the public, will see nearly 150 people, who would otherwise be sleeping rough, being given the best possible chance of leaving homelessness behind.

    Typically, Crisis’ long-running Christmas provision comes to an end shortly after the new year, following a two-week period where guests are given somewhere safe and warm to sleep, three meals a day, companionship and expert advice from Crisis staff and volunteers.

    The extension of hotel-based support will mean guests have somewhere secure and comfortable to stay during some of the coldest weeks of the year, alongside access to additional services including mental health and substance-misuse support.

    For the last two years providing a safe place to stay and access to support services, including St Mungo’s specialist move-on support, for an extended period has benefitted guests who have experienced rough sleeping for longer and have more complex needs.  

    Crisis Chief Executive, Matt Downie, said: “Extending our hotel provision in London gives our guests, and the staff and volunteers they’ll be working with, crucial extra time to work on practical and sustainable plans to end their homelessness. In these extra weeks, guests will continue to receive tailored one-to-one support and will be provided with clear routes into year-round services on offer from organisations like Crisis.  

    “I’m delighted that, now for the third year in a row, we have been able to come together as a sector, and we are hugely grateful for the support that the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Greater London Authority have been able to offer. Providing people with their own hotel room, alongside specialist and personalised support, is a dignified and proven approach that can, and does, changes lives.” 

    St Mungo’s Director of Rough-Sleeping Services, James Lally, said: “Safe, warm and decent accommodation is the foundation on which we all build, and rebuild, our lives. With a roof over our heads we can protect ourselves from violence, establish healthy, supportive relationships and build hope and optimism for the future. None of us should be without it, though tragically many are.  

    “We know that people are more likely to escape homelessness if they are supported to do so from somewhere safe to stay. This vital funding extends that support to some of the most excluded people during the coldest time of the year. Once again, it enables St Mungo’s and Crisis to work together to support as many people as possible to leave homelessness behind for good. 

    Felicity Buchan MP, Minister for Housing and Homelessness said: “We are very pleased to be able to provide additional funding for the extension of the Crisis at Christmas provision this winter. This funding forms part of the £2 billion the government is investing over 3 years in tackling homelessness and rough sleeping, including £188 million through the Rough Sleeping Initiative in London. The Crisis at Christmas provision is designed to work with those sleeping rough who are least likely to access accommodation and support and is thus central to delivering our shared ambition to end rough sleeping in London”. 

    The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m extremely pleased to support Crisis and St Mungo’s as they extend the provision of safe hotel accommodation for nearly 150 people sleeping rough this Christmas.  

    “No-one deserves to sleep rough on the streets, which is why I’m doing all that I can to end the cycle of homelessness for thousands of Londoners. Since becoming Mayor, I have quadrupled City Hall’s rough sleeping budget, helping over 16,000 people to leave the streets for good. 

     “I have also launched my winter rough sleeping campaign to fundraise for frontline homelessness charities in the capital this winter. I urge all Londoners to consider donating a few pounds to the campaign — every contribution makes a huge difference to the lives of those sleeping rough.” 

    Homelessness close to home for many, charity finds in run up to Christmas.

    People experiencing homelessness is at an all-time high – including rough sleeping – and new findings released today reveal just how close to home the issues of homelessness are for the UK. 

    Leading homelessness charity, St Mungo’s, has found that this year a fifth of us have either been in temporary accommodation, or knows someone who has (21%) and that 12% of people have slept rough on the streets in 2023 or knows someone who has. 

    Furthermore, almost a fifth (19%) have also experienced hidden homelessness in 2023 or know someone who has – these are people who are experiencing homelessness or housing difficulties, regardless of legal definitions or entitlement, but who are not supported by their local authorities or counted in official statistics. This may be, for example, when people are sofa surfing with family, friends or another connection, or sleeping in their vehicles. 

    With the bitter winter weather starting earlier this year, St Mungo’s is releasing new findings as to how close to home the issues of homelessness are for the UK population. 

    The charity provides a wide range of services to help end homelessness in London, Bristol, Oxford, Reading, Bournemouth and Brighton and Recovery College services in Leicester. St Mungo’s workers are working at the sharp end of homelessness by helping people experiencing rough sleeping into safe accommodation or supporting those in hostels or specialist housing and providing support and ways to help for those struggling with addiction or mental health challenges. 

    A crucial part of their work is preventing people from falling into homelessness in the first place and when people are brought in from the streets it is of the highest priority for teams to ensure they don’t find themselves sliding through the cracks once again. 

    With people experiencing homelessness at an all-time high**  – including rough sleeping – the charity is disclosing findings from a December poll as to how close the issue of homelessness is for the UK population this Christmas and how we can all help those most vulnerable in our communities. 

    Top findings: 

    • In 2023, a fifth of those polled have either been in temporary accommodation, or knows someone who has (21%) 
    • Almost a fifth of people (19%) have also experienced hidden homeless* in 2023 or know someone who has. 
    • 12% of people have slept rough on the streets in 2023 or knows someone who has. 
    • In terms of concerns, 20% of people are worried about the possibility of facing financial strain and housing insecurity in the event of their landlord selling the property or altering rental terms.? 
    • 18% of people are concerned that a friend and/or family member may be likely to experience a form of homelessness within the next year. 
    • 17% of people know someone facing a form of homelessness this Christmas period. 

     

    “Emma Haddad, CEO of St Mungo’s said: “We’ve launched our Last Night on the Streets winter fundraising appeal to help raise vital funds to tackle rising rates of homelessness. It’s our biggest campaign of the year, boosting the support we can provide to the 30,000 people experiencing homelessness who we work with each year. Our work aims to ensure that when we reach people, it truly is for their last night on the street and a way out of homelessness for good.? 

    Our work supports people experiencing all kinds of homelessness, including rough sleeping which is the most dangerous and visible. We are there long after people leave the streets, supporting people to rebuild their lives through recovery, training and employment services, as well as providing accommodation that caters for people with extreme vulnerabilities.” 

     

    Rough sleeping and homelessness this winter are at record levels and there are lots of ways the public can help.? 

    1. Donations?are needed more than ever at this time of year.  
    1. The charity is always on the lookout for?volunteers, including people?who can help directly on the frontline, and you can find our more at mungos.org 
    1. If you see someone sleeping rough, please?refer?to local rough sleeping services via The StreetLink website. thestreetlink.org.uk 

    If someone is in immediate danger, always call 999.

    As Winter freeze approaches St Mungo’s Client Space at Fusion building will bring people in for safety and support

    On Friday 15th December leading national homelessness charity, St Mungo’s, is launching Fusion, a new daytime safe space for people who are sleeping rough in Bournemouth.   Councillor Kieron Wilson, portfolio holder for housing (BCP Council) will officially open Fusion on Friday 15th December at 10am. The client space will be open that day and from there onwards between 10am and 1pm, Mondays to Fridays.

    At Fusion people will be able to relax, take part in activities such as gender specific groups, health & wellbeing workshops, art groups and other life skills. They will also be able to access information about support services, set up appointments with their St Mungo’s lead workers and partner agencies.  Fusion welcomes anyone who is currently sleeping rough, or anyone who is at risk of returning to the streets. It is a drop-in service and people do not need to be referred.

    Moving away from the streets can be difficult and complex therefore the experts from the charity will work closely with individuals to create long-term plans so they can stop sleeping rough. That might be by supporting them to access temporary accommodation, private rented accommodation or reconnecting them to accommodation in an area where they have friends or family. The charity also supports to find individuals pathways to access physical and mental health care and drug or alcohol support.

     

    Andrew Teale, Service Manager, St Mungo’s said: “Supporting those experiencing homelessness is a 365-days-a-year priority for our St Mungo’s teams in Bournemouth and winter is always a vital period to provide help and safeguard those most vulnerable in our communities. Our new expanded Fusion service crucially means that our outreach workers can offer people experiencing rough sleeping or are at risk of returning to rough sleeping a safe space where they can have a hot drink and be linked in with experts who can help with their housing, mental health, substance use and benefits.”

     

    Other services working with the St Mungo’s teams from the Fusion centre include Homeless Health Team, BCP Housing, We Are With You and Dorset Working Women Project.

    You can connect someone who is sleeping rough with the St Mungo’s BCP Outreach Team by getting in touch directly on 01202 315962 or via the national StreetLink app and website.

    St Mungo’s response to the statutory quarterly homelessness statistics (April to June 2023)

    • 73,660 households were homeless or at risk of it. An increase of 2% from the same period last year. (6.9% increase in homelessness and 1.5% in threatened with homelessness)
    • The private rented sector is increasingly unstable. Nearly half of the households at risk of homelessness were in the private rented sector. 6,640 households received a Section 21 notice. Up 10.3% from this time last year
    • 25% households had at least one person in part or full-time work. Up just over 10% from this time last year.

    St Mungo’s CEO, Emma Haddad, said:

    “We’re dealing with rising rates of homelessness, a cost-of-living crisis and now bitterly cold weather, and these combined are putting huge pressure on charities like St Mungo’s. Today’s quarterly homelessness statistics are a sad reminder that the number of people falling into homelessness is continuing to rise.

    The factors causing homelessness can be complex, but too often St Mungo’s frontline workers are supporting people who are in employment, they have lost secure housing and are unable to find a path back to a safe roof over their heads. We urgently need an increase in affordable and appropriate housing.

    We hope these statistics will galvanise policy action to bring in the Renters Reform Bill and abolish Section 21 evictions; a detrimental clause which currently allows landlords to evict tenants without reason.”

    If you can, please consider making a donation to help us address the homelessness crisis.

    St Mungo’s response to the Autumn Statement

    Following a huge amount of campaigning over recent months, we are very pleased that the Government has announced an increase in local housing allowance (LHA) from April 2024 to cover the bottom 30% of local rents, as set out by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday 22nd November.

    St Mungo’s has consistently made the case for LHA to be increased, using evidence from the services we run. Along with colleagues across the sector in the Cover the Cost Coalition, our voices have been heard.

    This change means that people in receipt of housing benefit will have access to homes that they can actually afford to rent. It will make a crucial difference to many people’s lives across the country, preventing them from falling into homelessness or helping them out of homelessness.

    We also welcome the additional £120 million of funding for councils to invest in homelessness prevention, and the increase in benefits to match inflation.

    While these policy changes are much-needed, we are still facing a very difficult winter with record numbers of people sleeping rough. We need support to be able to bring people into somewhere warm. Donate today to help bring people off the streets and into safety. You can make tonight someone’s last night on the streets. 

     

    St Mungo’s responds to latest CHAIN statistics

    • In total, 4068 people were recorded as rough sleeping in the capital between Jul-Sep 2023, this is an increase of 12% on the same period last year. 
    • 2086 people rough sleeping for the first time, a 13% increase on the same figure this time last year. 
    • 481 people deemed to be living on the streets, 17% higher than the immediately preceding period (Apr-Jun) 
    • 1561 people were intermittently rough sleeping, 16% higher than the same period last year. 

     

    Emma Haddad, St Mungo’s Chief Executive, said: 

    “As the UK homelessness crisis escalates, the latest rough sleeping data for London shows record numbers of people forced to sleep on the streets. Of particular concern is the large increase in non-UK nationals, who represented 52.6% of people sleeping rough in the capital during July to September. The pressure of these rising figures is being felt across St Mungo’s, as requests for immigration advice and emergency housing increases. 

    “It is fantastic that people are receiving decisions on their asylum claims, but many are facing inadequate time to prepare before they must leave Home Office accommodation. Our outreach teams are meeting more and more refugees on the streets. Being granted refugee status in the UK should be an immensely positive time in someone’s life, but finding yourself homeless is anything but a warm welcome to the country. There needs to be a proper transition plan that enables people to access benefits, housing and employment, rather than being forced onto the streets.  

    “When individuals have limited or unclear entitlements to public funds due to their immigration status, we must do more to help. To alleviate homelessness and destitution for this vulnerable group, there must be sufficient funding and a clear directive from central Government to support people to resolve their homelessness through the provision of accommodation, independent immigration advice, and support to engage in the advice.” 

    Offer accepted by Unite

    Unite the Union have voted to accept our pay offer, bringing the strike and pay dispute to an end. Here is our statement:

     

    Emma Haddad, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said: 

    “Following a vote, Unite the Union has confirmed its members have accepted the new pay offer package we put forward on 18 August 2023.

    “In this offer, everyone who is on up to and including point 36 on the National Joint Council (NJC) pay scale will receive £1,200 per year as a St Mungo’s allowance in addition to the annual pay award, which will be a minimum of £1,925 this year.

    “This means over 90% of staff will receive a total minimum increase of £3,125 in 2023-24. This works out as a 7-15% pay increase, depending on salary. The total cost to St Mungo’s will be just under £6m.

    The agreement also includes a number of non-pay items, including an increase in annual leave.

    “This vote resolves the dispute and ends a period of unprecedented strike action, and we understand Unite is asking people to return to work on Monday 4 September 2023. We are relieved with the outcome as we know this has been a difficult time for everyone involved. We look forward to working together with our colleagues and our partners as we continue to support people recovering from, or at risk of, homelessness.”

     

    Notes to Editors/background information

    As well as the £3,125 pay rise, St Mungo’s is offering:

    1. An additional three days of annual leave for everyone.
    2. A permanent increase in the mileage allowance.
    3. A review of our wider benefits package, with a commitment to ensure modern and competitive policies around issues like maternity and paternity leave, carers’ leave, sickness, and compassionate leave.
    4. The removal of the probationary period when moving to a new role internally.
    5. 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.
    6. A commitment to establish a wellbeing fund for teams to access, working with colleagues to define and create it.
    7. A commitment to continue lobbying, with partners, for better funding across the homelessness sector.
    8. 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.
    9. Early payment of the 2023-24 NJC pay award that is still being negotiated, with a view to paying any difference once the final award is agreed, in line with our recognition agreement.
    10. A freeze on Executive Director and CEO pay for the current year.

    St Mungo’s urges Government to support homeless Londoners as homelessness figures rise by 9%

    New data released today (31 July 2023) by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) shows the total number of people sleeping rough in London between April and June 2023 was 3,272.

    This represents a 9% increase compared with the 2,998 people recorded as sleeping rough in the same period the previous year. 

    The latest CHAIN data revealed, of those people sleeping rough, that: 

    • 1,614 were doing so for the first time, 12% higher than the same period last year 

    • 411 people were considered to be living on the streets. 

    • 1,285 people were seen intermittently sleeping rough, which is 8% higher than the same period last year. 

     

    Emma Haddad, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said: 

    It is desperately sad that the number of people sleeping rough in London continues to rise. The ongoing failure to address the severe housing shortage and affordability crisis is clear. 

    “As rents spiral, more and more London residents are falling into homelessness. We know that less than 2% of rental properties in the capital are affordable for people receiving Housing Benefit. Once again, we are calling on the Government to urgently increase Housing Benefit so that it properly reflects the cost of renting. Without immediate intervention, homelessness in London will simply worsen. 

    “St Mungo’s services across the city continue to work tirelessly with the increasing number of people who need our support to rebuild their lives away from the streets.” 

    St Mungo’s responds to 21% increase in people sleeping rough in London

    Homelessness charity St Mungo’s says the increase in the number of people sleeping rough in London in the last year shows the tragic link between lack of affordable housing and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

    New data released today (27 June 2023) by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN), which covers 2022/23, showed the total number of people seen sleeping rough in London increased from 8,329 in 2021/22 to 10,053 in 2022/23. This is a 21% increase.

    The CHAIN Annual Report April 2022-March 2023 found:

    • of the 10,053 people who were sleeping rough, 6,391 were doing so for the first time, compared with 5,091 from the same period in 2021/22. This is a 26% rise
    • 2,084 people had been seen rough sleeping for at least two consecutive years
    • 1,578 people returned to the streets, after more than a year without sleeping rough. The number of people in this situation has increased by 31% from 1,205 in 2021/22.

    Emma Haddad, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said:

    “The 21% increase in the number of people experiencing street homelessness in London is a tragic reflection of the impact of the cost of living crisis and the severe lack of affordable housing. The shrinking supply of affordable homes in the private rented sector, and the chronic undersupply of social housing, means people are struggling to find and keep somewhere to live.

    “Across St Mungo’s we continue to work innovatively and collaboratively to support those who need us. Every day our teams are working with people in crisis to build a life away from the streets.

    “To prevent the current situation from worsening, we urge the Government to increase Housing Benefit so it properly reflects the true cost of renting. Without immediate intervention, the number of people sleeping rough will continue to rise.”

    Notes to editors:

    The number of people sleeping rough as reported in the CHAIN Annual Report 2022/23 is lower than the cumulative total of each of the quarterly reports. This is because some people will sleep rough across the year meaning they are counted in multiple quarterly reports, but only once in the annual report.

    The CHAIN annual report categorises someone as returning to rough sleeping if they have previously been seen rough sleeping prior to the financial year preceding this report (before 2021/22) and have returned to the streets during 2022/23.

    CHAIN reports present information about people seen rough sleeping by outreach teams in London. CHAIN is commissioned and funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and managed by Homeless Link.

    Anyone who is concerned about a person who is sleeping rough should contact Streetlink via https://thestreetlink.org.uk/

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