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How being bold will help the homeless

June 2021

If you work in Brighton, as I do, you can’t help but notice those living on our streets. On the coldest, greyest days there are people sleeping on damp pavements with freezing rain gusting around them. I can’t even imagine what that must be like – they must be chilled to the bone. It’s an absolute tragedy and a desperate situation.

But it’s hard to know how to help – you feel so impotent. Giving money and having a chat doesn’t seem enough. It might temporarily assuage our guilt, but the needs of the people we’re talking to are far bigger than a warm drink and some food. What’s going to make a real difference?

I decided to get in touch with St Mungo’s, which is a national charity whose stated aim is to end rough sleeping by 2026. I was attracted by the boldness of their ambition. They’re aiming high and this will undoubtedly lead to much-needed change.

St Mungo’s sees each rough sleeper as a person, a client, who needs support with their complex needs. Rather than looking at the symptom – homelessness - they actively seek out the cause and address that. They believe that whilst getting someone off the streets is a vital first step, it’s not the end of the story. So, they put in place a recovery-based approach that is unique to the individual and their skills and strengths. Essentially, St Mungo’s puts each person at the heart of their own recovery. They are empowered and treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

I have no doubt that St Mungo’s will achieve its aim. They’re looking at a sustainable solution, creating an environment so people can bring about their own changes and helping them to move on with their lives in a positive way. It’s perhaps no surprise to hear that they also employ a number of their former clients. They’re absolutely inspirational.

So, I am privileged and honoured to have been accepted as a new member of the Board of Trustees for St Mungo’s and I am looking forward to working alongside some exceptional people. I’m pleased that I’m going to be able to put my life experiences and commercial skillsets to good use. 

The world is not a perfect place and not all people have serendipitous opportunities. But charities like St Mungo’s can help to tip the scales the other way and they should be celebrated for that.

www.mungos.org

teddy-nyahasha-281x281

Teddy is a strong supporter of diversity, inclusion and equality. A passionate believer in social mobility and financial inclusion; he is using his position as CEO of OneFamily to help the young, the disadvantaged and the marginalised to reach beyond their expectations. His view is that everyone in society should have the same opportunities to access financial products – regardless of their wealth.

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