Homeless charity Only A Pavement Away celebrates one year anniversary

09/10/2019 - 08:34
Charity, Only a Pavement Away (OAPA) is celebrating the fact that over 50 homeless people have found employment in the hospitality industry thanks to its work, saving the Government around £1.25 million.

OAPA was established to help those on the streets, or people who are 'sofa surfing’ find employment in the hospitality industry, by creating a conduit between employers and organisations which exist to support the homeless, as well as ex-offenders and vulnerable veterans.

It does this by providing a centralised free jobs board for prospective hospitality industry employers on which to place their vacancies which is accessible to all OAPA partner charity and association job brokering teams.

In the 12 months since its launch, founder and CEO, Greg Mangham, has worked to establish partnerships with homeless charities, as well as pub, restaurant and hotel groups throughout the country.  He said: “The last year has been hard work, but incredibly rewarding. I had hoped to place more people in work during the first year, but it has taken time to get the systems we need to make the process run smoothly up and running. But we are there now and I am incredibly proud that we have been able to place over 50 homeless people in employment in year one.

“This is just the beginning. On average, one homeless person dies every fortnight on our streets. In addition, 70,000 ex-offenders are released each year with just £46 discharge grant in their pockets. On top of that, there are 6,000 vulnerable veterans with no permanent address and a shocking 50,000 veterans coping with mental health issues.  In a country with the fifth largest economy, homelessness is a scandal - it is not acceptable. We founded Only A Pavement Away to help to change that.”

Over the next year, OAPA aims to help a further 250 homeless people find work. To achieve that, it is looking for more hospitality businesses to partner with and offer employment to the homeless, as well as funding from industry backers. There are currently 32 employers signed up and participating in the programme, however, in order to reach the goal of helping 250 people find employment, OAPA will need to raise £250,000 in development and operational funding.

Mangham added: “Between now and 2024, the UK hospitality industry will be looking for around 1.3 million employees, of which, some 300,000 will be new positions. These positions can be filled by homeless people who want to return to work, saving millions of pounds. That money could be used to employ an additional 250 nurses per annum. It’s a win-win situation.

“Our main focus is to help get people off the streets and into employment, but as a short-term measure, and to help raise awareness of Only A Pavement Away amongst the homeless community, we are doing what we can to make life more bearable. Winter is a terrible time to be on the streets so I really hope the hospitality industry will unite to support our Winter Warmth campaign and help make life just a little more bearable for those unfortunate enough to find themselves exposed to the elements night after night on the streets.”

Companies wishing to get involved, or financially support the charity through donations please contact: fundraising@onlyapavementaway.co.uk

Copyright 2019 Public Sector Catering
Dewberry Redpoint Limited is a company Registered in England and Wales No : 03129594 Registered Office:
Riverbridge House, Anchor Boulevard, Crossways Business Park, Dartford, DA2 6SL VAT registered, number 305 8752 95.

Design & Development by Eton Digital