Wednesday 10 October 2018

St Mungo’s has today launched a new practical partnership to help businesses become HomelessWise – and the first member joining up is Nationwide Building Society.

HomelessWise is a way in which businesses can be more informed and aware of how to help people sleeping rough and signpost them to local services.

Eight Nationwide branches have initially been trialling the development of HomelessWise which includes e-learning and access to an online portal about local services. As the first member and leading sponsor, the Society will now be rolling out HomelessWise across its network of UK branches.

Being a HomelessWise member means St Mungo’s and Nationwide staff working together to provide a consistent and compassionate response to people sleeping rough. This alongside a better understanding of the issues around why people may be rough sleeping or homeless, and what practical support is available near their branch.

Petra Salva, St Mungo’s Director of Rough Sleepers, Ex-Offenders and Migrant Services, said: “There is a clear and growing interest amongst the business community in being part of how we all help to reverse the rising number of people who are homeless and sleeping rough. St Mungo’s sees HomelessWise as a community of members who are informed and educated about homelessness, and who know how to connect people in need to local services that can help.

“We have used feedback from our clients and our knowledge and expertise to develop face-to-face coaching, e-learning and the online portal, which has localised advice and support links for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Business members who join the HomelessWise community can also feed into the development of the portal so together we can continually improve the support for people sleeping rough.

“We are very pleased to launch HomelessWise today with Nationwide as our first member and lead sponsor.”

Charlotte Kensett, Nationwide’s Director of Social Investment, said: “The HomelessWise community of organisations is designed to offer practical, consistent and compassionate support for our branch teams who may encounter the realities of those who may be homeless or sleeping rough, safe in the knowledge that they are acting in the best interests not just of people sleeping rough but also their work colleagues.

“We also wanted to make sure there is consistent and meaningful advice on the high street for the most vulnerable in our communities. Now we’re encouraging other companies on the high street to do the same and join the programme.”

Other businesses interested in HomelessWise, can find out more at


About Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide is the world’s largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and the second largest mortgages providers in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers and members.

About St Mungo’s HomelessWise

St Mungo’s is one of the UK’s leading homelessness charities and exists to end homelessness and rebuild lives. Each night the charity provides housing and support to 2,800 people across London and the South and helps thousands of others with advice, health, skills and work services.

Photo: Kirsty Williams, Branch Manager, Nationwide Building Society; Katherine Stewart, HomelessWise Service Development Manager, St Mungo’s and Andrew Teale, Bournemouth Outreach Manager, St Mungo’s