A ‘UNIQUE’ social enterprise aims to transform the lives of Rugby residents impacted by homelessness.
Rugby Borough Council has joined forces with Beam – a crowdfunding platform for homeless people – to pilot the enterprise in the borough, helping the homeless and those at risk of homelessness into training and employment.
And just a week after launching her campaign to raise nearly £1,300, Cynthia – the borough’s first resident to benefit from Beam – has already reached her fund-raising goal to become a support worker.
The council’s Community Advice and Support Team, together with organisations from the borough’s voluntary and charitable sectors, work with Beam to identify residents who can benefit from the scheme.
A caseworker from Beam works with each resident, helping to create a public crowdfunding campaign on the social enterprise’s website where members of the public can donate towards job training, work tools, travel or childcare – and leave messages of encouragement.
Beam’s caseworkers help residents with CVs, interview skills training and access to a range of employers, and continue supporting the resident through the first three months of employment.
Cynthia, whose identity has been protected, has worked with Beam following a difficult year in which she and her children had to start from scratch.
In her campaign story, Cynthia explains: “It feels like my own dreams and ambitions have taken a pause during everything that’s been going on.
“Sometimes I wonder whether it will ever be possible for me to find work. I wonder how much of this is down to a lack of skills or whether it’s a lack of confidence due to everything that’s happened and how long I’ve been out of work.
“My dream for the future is peace. Peace for my children, my family and my own peace of mind. And I’d like to focus on my career. I want to become a better version of myself and to be financially independent.”
Cynthia successfully crowdfunded just under £1,300 via Beam to pursue a career as a support worker, with the money going towards a laptop, a childminding training course, travel, work clothes, a smartphone and a DBS check.
Working with Beam, the council aims to offer support to 50 residents during the pilot, with the potential to extend the project.
Coun Emma Crane, Rugby Borough Council’s spokeswoman for communities, homes, digital and communications, said the social enterprise had a proven track record of supporting the homeless, recently homeless and people at risk of homelessness into training and employment.
She said: “A multitude of factors can result in someone becoming homeless or facing the risk of losing their home, and the support offered by the council needs to reflect the different and often complex needs of those who need our help.
“Our partnership with Beam offers a unique and supported pathway into training and employment, and, while not suitable for all residents impacted by homelessness, it has the potential to transform the lives of many of our residents.”
Seb Barker, co-founder and chief operating officer of Beam, said: “We’re excited to partner with Rugby Borough Council to provide a community and technology driven solution to homelessness, supporting homeless residents into stable jobs for the long-term.”
Visit www.beam.org for more information about Beam.