Mercantile Group Chair Salah Mussa pledges £50,000 to support St Mungo’s Digital Recovery College

Leading homeless charity St Mungo’s has received a generous donation of £50,000 to develop their life-changing Digital Recovery College service.

The donation from Salah Mussa, Chair of global real estate conglomerate Mercantile Group and St Mungo’s long-time supporter, the Chestertons Foundation, will enable St Mungo’s to help more people recovering from homelessness through their inclusive online learning, training and employment service.

Over the past year, St Mungo’s has supported 31,600 people throughout their recovery journey. During the pandemic, the Digital Recovery College ran more than 4,500 sessions with classes and courses including arts, music and creativity; digital skills and IT; English and maths; and health, wellbeing and personal development. The team also delivered more than 2,300 one-to-one coaching and employment sessions to people affected by homelessness.

Jay Hunt, Head of Partnerships at St Mungo’s, said: “We are thrilled and grateful to receive this very generous donation from Salah and the Mercantile Group, which will have an immediate effect in helping to support our clients as we transition to a new normal.

“St Mungo’s ran 30 emergency hotels across London and the South of England as part of the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative – a scheme that ensured people who were sleeping rough or at risk of doing so during the pandemic, had access to safe, self-contained accommodation.

“As we support our clients as they move on from homelessness, our Digital Recovery College courses are a vital tool for their recovery, personal development and wellbeing. We look forward to continuing our work to rebuild lives with the support of the Mercantile Group and the Chestertons Foundation.”

Salah Mussa, Chair of Mercantile Group and the Chestertons Foundation, said: “I’m always looking at ways to give back to the city to which I owe my upbringing, and through my work with the Chestertons Foundation, I’ve had the pleasure of supporting St Mungo’s for a number of years now. I’m continually in awe of the fantastic support they’ve been providing to people in across London and the South of England experiencing homelessness, especially given the challenging circumstances during the pandemic.

“I truly believe that if we’re to tackle rough sleeping for good, we need to think beyond simply increasing short-term housing provision. By supporting the Digital Recovery College, I’m hoping to progress the conversation around homelessness prevention and looking at how we can support people in the long-term term by equipping them with the skills they need to rebuild their lives.”

Earlier this year, St Mungo’s also celebrated the third anniversary of First Response, an innovative service funded by Chestertons and the Chestertons Foundation, which recruits volunteers to work alongside our street outreach teams to locate vulnerable people who are sleeping rough across London.

You can find out more about St Mungo’s Digital Recovery College here, and more information about volunteering opportunities is here.