The Lord Mayor, whose predecessors for much of the nineteenth century were ex officio Presidents of The Mendicity Institution said ‘I am impressed by how beneficial the provision of a safe and supportive workplace is for the health and well – being of rough sleepers, and by howGa the programme readies and prepares them to engage with and benefit from the services of statutory agencies and NGOs working with this particularly vulnerable group.’
Chairman Patrick Bewley said that ‘the aim of the Workshop, in line with our 200 years old work and employment oriented tradition, is to provide an opportunity for people who are long-term homeless, with no entitlements and no income, to become reintegrated’.
Mendicity Workshop Manager Simone Sav explained that ‘on average, the Workshop staff have been rough sleeping for over five years. We are encouraged by the many positive outcomes of this innovative Programme, which also encompasses targeted English language learning, an Employment Service and psycho-educational mentoring.’
The new Workshop, which was built in a day by a group of volunteers from the ‘Heart to Hand’ Foundation, doubles the existing Workshop space, enabling Mendicity to employ 20 staff. The products they manufacture include colourful, hand carved window boxes and handmade greeting cards for every occasion.