John raising funds to become an electrician - Beam

Innovative community-led scheme supports homeless people in Islington

Twenty homeless people in Islington have successfully found jobs and homes thanks to the generosity of their local community. Islington Council has partnered with Beam, an innovative social enterprise and fundraising platform, which brings communities together online to help homeless people achieve their goals.

Through Beam, homeless residents can raise money for items that can be a financial obstacle to starting work or moving into a new home, such as job training, childcare, a laptop, travel costs or a rental deposit. Donations come from people in the local community, who also send encouraging messages and offers of work experience.

As well as providing funding support, Beam has built tools to aid jobseekers with CV writing, job interview preparation, and online job applications. Beam then matches people with its partners that include employers such as Arriva, Bupa and Tossed, as well as ethical landlords.

One Islington resident to benefit from the scheme is 56-year-old Omolola. The mum of two applied for over 100 jobs before being referred to Beam by the council. With Beam’s support, Omolola raised £671 from 10 members of the public to fund a DBS check, safeguarding training, travel costs and work clothes. In July, she started work as a healthcare assistant.

Omolola wrote to her supporters: “I'm totally lost for words at this overwhelming support and generosity towards me and others. I am happy, honoured, encouraged, and humbled to be part of a community of wonderful people who lend a helping hand to others at their time of need. I have been offered the job as a healthcare assistant and I appreciate all the support you have provided me with on this journey to work.”

Following the success of the 12-month programme, Islington Council has extended its partnership with Beam for another year, enabling a further 40 residents to benefit from Beam’s homelessness support. The service has been part-funded by prestigious international law firm Slaughter and May, headquartered in Islington.

Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Homes and Communities, said: “We want everyone in Islington to have a decent place to call home and everything they need to thrive. This scheme has transformed the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents, which is fantastic. I look forward to helping more homeless people through our partnership with Beam and I am very grateful to Slaughter and May, whose support has been vital.”

Seb Barker, co-founder and COO of Beam, said: “Beam is using technology to empower the most disadvantaged people in our society, by giving them an online support network and all the tools they need to accelerate their journey into stable work or housing. We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with Islington Council, Slaughter and May as well as local employers, to level the playing field for people experiencing homelessness.”

John Nevin, Slaughter and May, said: “Organisations like Beam do incredible work to reduce inequalities. The support we provide our long-term non-profit partners is a key part of the firm’s responsible business strategy. We look forward to working collaboratively with Islington Council and Beam on this project to support homeless people and refugees into stable jobs and homes.”

Beam launched in 2017 and has since gone on to support more than 1,000 homeless people across the UK into stable jobs and homes. Islington residents are referred to Beam by the council’s housing workers, and each person is assigned a caseworker from Beam, who supports them on their journey into work and housing.

Notes to editors

For case studies and interviews, please contact:

Montana Gerry

Head of Communications at Beam / 07462 882001

About Beam

Launched in 2017, Beam is on a mission to create equality of opportunity at scale, starting by crowdfunding brighter futures for homeless people and refugees. Working in partnership with registered charities and local authorities, Beam is helping hundreds of disadvantaged people to gain work in sectors facing critical skills shortages and move into stable housing. 

Contact information

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please view the contact information on our website or call 020 7527 2000.