London Homeless charity Only a Pavement Away, has been awarded a grant of £50,000 from London Freemasons in support of their new initiative to provide essential life skills to people facing or experiencing homelessness in London.
The Only A Pavement Away Life skills hub will be a centre to train those being rehoused and reemployed on how to live independently, whilst developing their employability skills and giving them the tools they need to get back on their feet.
The initial five three-week courses will see participants receiving a qualification to take them forward to access NVQ level 1 and 2 certificates. Participants will also learn the practical benefits of cooking for oneself, training in the production of menus, presentation of dishes by celebrity and professional chefs including OAPA ambassador Tom Aikens, CV writing, interview skills and use of IT, budgeting and access to the OAPA jobs board.
Greg Mangham, Founder of Only a Pavement Away, said, “Not only are we looking to get vulnerable groups into employment, more importantly, the OAPA Life Skills Hub which has been generously supported by the London Masons, will allow participants to adopt crucial life skills such as budgeting and interview preparation, that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to develop. We want to give homeless people more than a way out of homelessness, but a way into long-term, progressive careers, ensuring they can re-gain stability without falling back into homelessness. It’s vital that we continue to remember that hospitality is the community.”
The grant from London Masons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, from across England and Wales.
London Masons Charity Steward Tony Shields commented: We are very happy to assist “Only A Pavement Away” with this grant in support of a life skills hub for some of our most vulnerable residents. Freemasons donated £1 million between April and July to help those impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, and are now focusing on protecting the homeless, with a new series of donations across England and Wales. The homeless crisis has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with many people losing their jobs and finding themselves either living on the streets or in unsuitable living conditions.
This grant follows on from a recent £2.5 Million to fund two ultra-high aerial platforms, six rapid response vehicles and four bariatric stretchers and earlier generous donations of £3 million to Bart’s hospital for the purchase of a Cyberknife and £2 million donation towards the second London Air Ambulance, all of which contribute to saving lives right across this great capital city.”