Ending homelessness, rebuilding lives

Skills and employment

The majority of our clients want to work, either now or in the future. To help them towards this goal, we offer a wide range of skills and employment programmes.

Helping people who have experienced homelessness to gain skills and develop their employability is a fundamental part of our aim to help people rebuild their lives.

We want the range of skills and employment services we offer to suit the diversity of our clients. Many of our clients have low literacy levels or learning difficulties, so we start with the basics – offering classes on literacy and numeracy through our Basic Skills team.

We then work with clients to build a sustained recovery, progressing from basic skills to more vocational training, such as learning trade or administrative skills. The ultimate aim is to get clients back into employment, which helps them build confidence and independence. So we have close links with partners across a number of sectors so we can help clients into meaningful, paid employment.

We also run Recovery Colleges in London and Bristol which offer supportive, social and activity based learning, to help people build their skills and meet new people.

Recovery Colleges

St Mungo’s Recovery College provides an inclusive learning, training and employment service. We believe that learning can be a life-changing experience and make a real difference to people’s recovery and wellbeing.

We have a range of opportunities available, covering the following topics:

  • Health, wellbeing, and personal development
  • Arts, music and creativity
  • Digital skills and IT
  • English and math
  • Progression coaching

Putting Down Roots

Putting Down Roots is a horticultural training project that uses gardening as a tool to help people in their recovery. 

It establishes a routine by asking participants to commit to attending regular sessions, and taking responsibility in caring for plants. Learning to nurture something else helps people to learn to nurture themselves, and there is a parallel between the growth and development of plants and the growth and development of people.

In 2022, the Putting Down Roots team attended RHS Chelsea Flower Show, with a garden funded by Project Giving Back, and designed by long term partner, Cityscapes, where people we support were involved in growing the flowers ahead of time and assembling the final garden!

Construction skills

We run a number of construction skills programmes, in which people can learn all kinds of skills, from painting and wallpapering, to fitting locks and dry lining. The courses are accredited, which means that clients receive an official qualification at the end. Through our connections with a number of construction firms, we then help clients to find work.

In 2021-22, 95 of our clients engaged with over 1,900 hours of guided learning at our construction skills courses.

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