Leicester City Council has officially partnered with award-winning charity St Mungo’s to provide learning, training and employment support for people recovering from homelessness. Based in the council’s Dawn Centre, Recovery College was brought to the town by St Mungo’s.
St Mungo’s Recovery College opened in September 2019 but closed briefly during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has just reopened, offering a revamped program. Hundreds of clients will be supported to take free classes, job training and learn life-saving skills while rebuilding their lives.
As part of St Mungo’s new partnership with the council, a team of employment specialists will provide intensive, individual support to people facing unemployment and homelessness. Service users also have the opportunity to learn how to build relationships with local employers to create opportunities that match clients’ skills and interests.
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Some of the courses offered include: Arts and Crafts, Computer Skills, Maths and English, Life Coaching, Digital Confidence and Digital Employability. Additionally, a new construction skills program will train and prepare Recovery College clients to find work in the construction industry with support from Taylor Wimpey and the City Council.
Referrals to St Mungo’s Recovery College come primarily from housing providers, employment centres, hostels and supported housing, and homeless service providers across the city. After completing the course, service users will have access to internships, apprenticeships and jobs through St Mungo’s partnerships with local employers, as well as employment support and funding for tools, clothing and professional certifications.
Councilor Elly Cutkelvin, Leicester City Deputy Mayor for Housing, said: “People who have been homeless for a long time need more than housing to rebuild their lives. They also need help to acquire the skills they need to find work, manage their income and maintain the housing they find.
“The lack of employment, education and training opportunities available to them makes this extremely difficult, so we are delighted that St Mungo’s have chosen to come to Leicester and work with us to provide this vital support.”
“They have a wealth of skills and knowledge in this area and an excellent track record of working with people to end homelessness and rebuild lives. Although Recovery College was forced to close during the pandemic, we have already established a fantastic partnership, which has grown to use our construction skills center in Beaumont Leys, and also gained support from Barratt Developments which has enabled the St Mungo Garden Training Project to start in Highfields.
“We look forward to working with more local businesses and the local community as we grow this exciting initiative.”
Adam Rees, Director of Services at St Mungo’s Recovery College, said: “After two such difficult years, we are so proud that Leicester Recovery College is once again able to offer our clients the opportunity to learn, grow and be inspired. .”
“The relaunch is a testament to the hard work of our dedicated staff and volunteers, and the collaboration with Leicester City Council and the local community. And none of this would be possible without the generosity of our donors and our partnerships with Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments, whose staff have dedicated much of their time and resources to bringing this to life.”
“We know from former Recovery College clients that learning can be a life-changing experience that makes a real difference to people’s recovery and well-being. By offering a variety of development opportunities, we hope to give our Leicester clients the confidence and skills to progress into work.