Businesses working together to tackle homelessness in Wales

Business in the Community Cymru celebrated the launch of its new guide to help businesses in Wales take practical steps to respond to homelessness. The toolkit, Designing Out Homelessness: Practical Steps for Business was produced in partnership with Legal & General and FOR Cardiff.

The toolkit features hints and tips to help businesses support people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, and case studies from organisations across Wales who take a proactive approach. The toolkit was produced in collaboration with businesses, charities, and local government, and includes a Foreword from Welsh actor, and active campaigner, Michael Sheen. 

The launch event took place at social business Big Moose Coffee, who were celebrating their second birthday. As well as serving great coffee and cake, Big Moose offers a range of support in central Cardiff including jobs for people who have been homeless, and free sanitary products in the customer toilets. 

Speaking on the morning, Lynne Sheehy, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Legal & General described how inspiration for the toolkit came from a rousing speech by Lindsay Cordery-Bruce, of local charity the Wallich, at the Wales Responsible Business Awards 2019. Lynne said that Lindsay’s insights into the levels of homelessness in Wales “got businesses involved, and on board. Everyone then got together to look at the practical steps we could take.” 

Stressing the importance of the toolkit, Adrian Field, Director of FOR Cardiff noted that for many of Cardiff’s thousands of businesses, homelessness is a prevalent issue. Adrian said that the options outlined in the toolkit “are perfect” for businesses “who want to help but were not quite sure how.” 

Katie Dalton, Director of housing and homelessness charity Cymorth Cymru, suggested that the time is right for businesses in Wales to do more to lessen the impacts of homelessness. “There is lots of enthusiasm for change in Wales”, Katie said. “The calls to action in this toolkit are not just a sticking plaster, but a way of making real change. If together we all do one or two small things, then collectively we can make a real difference.” 

Physical copies will be distributed by FOR Cardiff. A digital version of the report is available via the Business in the Community website - https://www.bitc.org.uk/toolkit/designing-out-homelessness-practical-steps-for-business-wales/ 

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