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Former homeless people join Christmas Covid effort

The Rooftop has learnt of a heart-warming crowdfunding scheme, which is helping former homeless people back into work to support the Christmas Covid effort.

Thanks to the support of a London-based social enterprise, a number of people who were homeless until recently are now working in crucial roles such as care home workers and hospital caterers.

Beam, which crowdfunds job training for homeless people and supports them back into work, has been working with charities and local authorities to help fill keyworker roles in the run-up to Christmas.

One such remarkable story is Bilikis, whose family was left homeless and placed in temporary accommodation by the local council. Thanks to raising £1,500 through Beam in less than two weeks, Bilikis was able to pay for childcare, enabling her to take a full-time job as a care home worker.

Already planning on taking further training to progress to a more senior role, Bilikis uses her free time to sit with the nation’s loved ones in care to chat, keep them company and listen to their stories.

Another story is that of Marzena, who lost her home two years ago due to addiction. Thanks to a Beam crowdfunder, she was able to train as a beautician, only to lose her job as a spa worker at the start of the pandemic. Marzena was determined not to let this set her back though, and she worked with Beam to land a job as catering assistant in a hospital, visiting patients’ bedsides to deliver their food and keep them company during the pandemic.

Marzena, 46, from London, said:

I’m really enjoying the job. I’ve got a good routine going – a purpose to get up every morning. It works perfectly to help other people whilst helping myself too.

Since the social enterprise was launched in 2017, Beam has attracted a base of 6,000 supporters, who between them have donated more than £1m to help those without homes back into work.

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