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How our partnership with Lloyds Banking Group is helping to end homelessness.

Emma Vizor, Volunteering Partner

Volunteering is often a key focus of any partner looking to support Crisis and our work. From the outset of our partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, LBG colleagues have been keen to get involved, learn, and contribute to ending homelessness. It’s important to offer volunteering opportunities that meet the needs of both parties and LBG have participated in a wide range of volunteering, including helping us to test and learn new ideas. I have found working in collaboration and partnership with LBG’s volunteering and community engagement colleagues a hugely positive experience and together we have built a strong foundation for the future of the partnership.  LBG colleagues have volunteered across the organisation, in our shops, our warehouse, during Crisis at Christmas, and in our services. 

 In the first year of the partnership: 

  • Over 500 colleagues from LBG have volunteered their time, this totals nearly 5,000 volunteering hours, 
  • LBG colleagues have created 1,250 Christmas packs for our members, making a real difference to the most vulnerable people at a particularly difficult time, 
  • LBG colleagues have created 140 Ramadan packs for our members in London and Birmingham, enabling them to participate in Ramadan and the celebration of Eid, 
  • LBG colleagues helped raise a staggering £218,000 volunteering at our Savile Row pop-up shop and our follow-up pop-up at our Putney store. 

Ending homelessness and Changing Lives 

I want to focus on an area where LBG volunteers will have a particularly direct and tangible impact on our members, helping them to sustainably end their homelessness. 

For the duration of the partnership LBG will fund our Changing Lives Grant programme, meaning we can enable more people experiencing homelessness to achieve their goals of finding work, self-employment and entering education. With LBG’s involvement, we have also been able to focus on providing wrap around support for grantees, developing and testing a mentoring programme. This brings the business acumen of LBG colleagues to Changing Lives Grant recipients to build their confidence and knowledge and help them to achieve their ambitions. The relationship is for a fixed period, with clear objectives but helps build our capacity as an organisation to help individuals end their homelessness and maximise their opportunities for success in setting up and running their own business. 

As someone who has met with the colleagues who have put themselves forward to be mentors, I am in awe of the skills and knowledge they are able to bring and really excited to see where this project goes. Every time I meet a potential mentor who I can see will be a good match for one of our mentees, I get a real buzz of excitement at the difference I know they can make. We have started with ten mentors, with a plan to evaluate as we go along and evolve the programme but what these individuals can bring to our grant recipients is truly life changing. 

We have already been learning from the project, and it has already led to evolving and developing the mentor role to include mentoring individuals who want to apply for a grant, helping with the writing of the application and preparing for a presentation to our Changing Lives panel. This mentoring offer builds our Skylight teams’ capacity to enable members to apply for a grant, meaning we will be able to help more people. 

The partnership with LBG is really exciting, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve with them in the second year of the partnership. Having recently held an Innovation Day for ideas (and there were lots of them), we have more volunteering opportunities to develop and test over the next 12 months. 

It is a real privilege to be working on the partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, and this Volunteers’ Week I want to say a huge thanks to each and every one of them who has given up their time, shared their skills and shared their expertise. The partnership not only makes a difference to Crisis in terms of income and profile raising but is giving us a real opportunity to learn and test ideas in volunteering which we will then be able to build upon with other partners and volunteers to end more people’s homelessness in the future. 

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