A new college for people experiencing homelessness will open in Leicester in the New Year.

The St Mungo’s Recovery College is a pioneering skills and employment service to support people into work, help to rebuild their lives and avoid repeat homelessness.

Delivered in partnership with Leicester City Council, local businesses and the community, the St Mungo’s Recovery College will offer courses that have been co-designed by peers, community volunteers and college staff.

Homelessness charity St Mungo’s will work with people with complex needs as well as those who have experienced homelessness, or those at risk of it. Recovery College students will be taught vital skills to live independently. Courses include literacy, numeracy and digital skills. There will also be arts, confidence-building, health and wellbeing classes, and work placements.

Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said: “We are delighted to join forces with Leicester City Council to offer a Recovery College following the success of our college hubs in London and Bristol. We wanted to work in Leicester because we believe the Recovery College is complementary to the services already on offer in the city and we know that there is a high level of commitment among local partners to addressing homelessness. That shared vision and values are important to us.

“Some people become homeless after losing their job, or suffering a bereavement, or a relationship breakdown. Others have been homeless for long periods and may never have worked. We will work closely with the council, local services and employers to help vulnerable people build on their existing skills, so that they can avoid repeated homelessness. Together we can make a difference.”

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, said: “It is great news for Leicester that St Mungo’s has chosen to open its first new Recovery College here, and also a reflection on the city’s commitment to address homelessness.

“We are very proud of the Dawn Centre which offers a lifeline for hundreds of people every year. Locating the Recovery College within it will make it easy for people to access the education and vital skills training they need, gain self-esteem, and take that first step into employment.”

A St Mungo’s client said: “Without the Recovery College, I would not be where I am today. Last year, employment was the last thing on my mind. But I’ve gained strength, and it’s helped me to do stuff I never thought I’d do and given me a sense of achievement and fulfilment. It’s been a godsend.”

The St Mungo’s Recovery College Leicester will run from the Dawn Centre, within existing services, so that programmes are easily accessible. The service aims to help 225 people into work over a period of five years.

Find out more about our Recovery College.