31 March 2016
In 2011, Dane became homeless following a relationship breakdown. “At the time, I worked in a hotel by night and slept in the park during the day.”
His immediate support needs included housing, as well as training and employment in the longer term. “I wanted to get help with interview skills, my CV, and get a full time job. Through St Mungo’s, I received a lot of help with my housing needs, and pre-employment support through the mentoring programme.”
In 2013, following an introduction brokered by City Action, Telereal Trillium pledged to fund £103,000, and support a mentoring programme for homelessness charity St Mungo’s. With over 60 of St Mungo’s clients participating in the program, 42% are now in active employment and a further 42% have achieved training/education outcomes. The remaining 13% are in volunteer work placements; two clients did not complete the programme.
St Mungo’s is one of the UK’s leading homelessness charities. The charity provides a bed and support to more than 2,500 people a night who are either homeless or at risk, and works to end homelessness and rebuild lives.
As one of the UK’s largest property companies, Telereal Trillium aims to create value from real estate, through property management, investment and development, but also through its relationships with the community. It houses c.1% of the UK’s workforce in its buildings and works with occupiers such as the Department for Work and Pensions.
The aim of funding and supporting the mentoring programme was identified as part of Telereal Trillium’s own corporate responsibility mission of ‘Helping People into the Workplace’. The mentoring programme added to, and enhanced, the suite of existing activities supporting the mission and involving the company’s staff across the UK.
It was structured to support formerly homeless clients of St Mungo’s, by helping to build their confidence, motivation and communication skills through 1:1 support, to help achieve work and training based goals. The mentors on the programme were all volunteers, predominantly professionals from London businesses, providing support over a nine month period.
Dane joined the Mentoring Programme in 2015: “It can be very difficult for people who don’t have experience or skills. The mentoring programme helped me progress a lot.”
“When I started the mentoring programme, I hoped that the person would understand me and that we could both communicate. I was very pleased with my mentor Joao [Filipe, Associate Director, New Business, Telereal Trillium] who was very nice and able to communicate with me. He understood what I needed and gave me lots of support and advice on how to get a job in a big company.”
Eleven of Telereal Trillium’s staff have been involved in the programme, with an additional 49 successfully matched mentors coming from other companies, including JP Morgan, the City of London Corporation, JCDecaux, and the Penguin Group.
Dane continued: “Through the mentoring scheme with Telereal Trillium, I was helped to develop my CV, to apply for jobs online, and we had meetings over a nine month period. It made a huge difference. I was very pleased and this helped me with interview skills. This was very good for me as my mentor worked in a big company, I didn’t know who I would be meeting when I first met the mentor and I was shocked to get someone so skilled and knowledgeable. My mentor also helped me with socialising, followed up with emails regarding my housing, and kept me busy at a point in time where I had very little to do. He was very kind and a really nice guy.”
Based on feedback from the programme, all 100% of mentees felt an increase in confidence since beginning their mentoring relationship, with 60% stating they felt very confident; and 90% having engaged more with the community and educational activities as a result of their increased levels of motivation and confidence. A further 100% of mentees stated they felt motivated in their approach to looking for work, as well as around their day-to-day living.
Susan Cain, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Telereal Trillium said: “Through supporting this mentoring programme, we have gained so much more than we have given – far more than was ever envisaged at the start of the relationship with St Mungo’s. The clients on the programme have described the outputs and support as life-changing, but it has also been incredibly beneficial to the mentors, as a powerful personal learning and development tool.”
Lin Benjamin, Work and Learning Team Manager at St Mungo’s said: “The mentoring programme has left a true legacy, whereby we were able to help our clients gain confidence, skills and jobs through this incredible three-year partnership. We are very grateful for Telereal Trillium’s support for making this mutually beneficial partnership happen.”
Dane completed the mentoring programme and following a successful interview, started his new job as a security guard on 21 March 2016. He said: "I will never forget the help I have received."
The three-year programme will come to completion in March 2016. Telereal Trillium continues to support St Mungo’s as one of its charity partners and various other initiatives that are on-going.