Cash boost for homeless charity giving hope and support to vulnerable people thanks to Stepping Stones Fund

A charity whose mission is to help homeless and vulnerable people transform their lives and get back on their feet has been awarded a £47,000 grant from the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, and UBS .

Thames Reach, based in Peckham, provides a range of services to vulnerable and marginalised people, many of whom have suffered homelessness. The grant will go towards their Homelessness Prevention Programme and a full time Development Manager.

The organisation's roots lie in working with rough sleepers in London and it has, since 1984, considerably diversified its services and increased the number of people it supports and the range of need actively addressed. Services they provide include hostels, specialist accommodation for people with substance misuse and mental health problems, Street Outreach services, tenancy support services, learning and employment programmes, specialist health initiatives and homeless prevention services in partnership with local authorities.

The grant was awarded through the Trust’s Stepping Stones Fund which supports charities and social enterprises in London who want to access the social investment market. The latest batch of grants has seen £700,000 awarded to 17 diverse organisations. This brings the total awards given to £2,185,100 to 49 organisations since the launch of the Stepping Stones Fund in 2015

David Farnsworth, Director of City Bridge Trust, commented:

City Bridge Trust is committed to supporting Londoners to make the city a fairer place to work and live. This charity is changing lives and giving people the support they need to get off the streets. The grant will enable to continue this work and help even more people in need. We are thrilled that we are already helping so many projects through the fund.”

Jeremy Swain, Chief Executive of Thames Reach, added:

“Thames Reach is a charity that works with people who have suffered lengthy periods of extreme homelessness. Many of the people we work with have slept rough and we have teams that undertake outreach work on London's streets every night of the year, meeting people and helping them to come inside.

“This extremely welcome grant from City Bridge Trust and UBS will enable us to employ a Development Manager to develop a homelessness prevention project that will test out different ways of helping people to avoid homelessness

“This will be a project based on a strong partnership model involving local authorities, registered providers and health commissioners and by the end of the funded period we aim to have developed a prototype model of homelessness prevention that can be adopted by local authorities and other commissioners.”

The success of Stepping Stones Fund is underpinned by a strong partnership between City Bridge Trust and UBS. It is an exciting and very effective combination of the Trust’s grant making expertise, the generous funding offered by UBS and the skills and insights of the bank’s corporate volunteers. The role that the non-profit and private sectors play in working towards the public good is ever more important in the age of a shrinking state.

Nick Wright, Managing Director, Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs at UBS said:

"The demand on the Fund measured by applications received highlights the continued need within the charity and voluntary sector for its existence. UBS is pleased to be supporting grantees not just through the provision of much-needed capital but also the skills and expertise of UBS volunteers which has proven to be a valuable experience for all involved. We look forward to continuing to develop this nascent market and to help bridge the funding gap for charities preparing for social investment."

City Bridge Trust provides grants totalling around £20 million per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London.

The charitable funder has awarded 7,531 grants totalling £353,396,242 since it first began in 1995 with 4,510 different organisation’s receiving funds. To date, over £2 million has been awarded on the Stepping Stones Fund with 49 organisations benefitting.

The Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver tackling disadvantage across the capital.

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