Written by: Michael Cole-Fontayn | EMEA Chairman, BNY Mellon
Since its inception last year, BNY Mellon has joined more than 350,000 City of London workers to celebrate the Lord Mayor’s City Giving Day.
This City Giving Day, September 30, 2015, I will be volunteering with St Mungo’s Broadway, a homelessness charity our business has supported since 2011. On an early morning shift with a St Mungo’s Broadway outreach worker, I will meet some of the homeless people in the City who they are working with to help off the streets.
I have walked the City of London almost every day since I started working for BNY Mellon back in 1984. Its people, history and landmarks are some of the most familiar sights in the world to me. But on this unique day, I will try to understand these familiar sights from an unfamiliar perspective.
The scourge of homelessness is a serious challenge: a report published earlier this year by the Department for Communities and Local Government found homelessness in London soared by 79% over the last five years. More than 7,500 people sleep rough on the streets of London every year.
At BNY Mellon we try to support people with that important yet precarious transition from homelessness and joblessness to housing and employment. We regularly volunteer with St Mungo’s Broadway to provide support with CV and interview skills workshops, as well as re-decorating service users’ accommodation and hostels.
Often the best way to take this leap is to hear first-hand how others have done it. That’s why for the last two years we have helped to fund a service that offers homeless people support at a critical time when moving into their own rented accommodation from ‘peer advisors’ - people who have been through it themselves. It is their empathy, stories and practical assistance that best equip others to gain the confidence they need to make this significant life change.
While this is only a short walk – amplified by the dedicated work of my colleagues – my hope is that it will help raise further awareness of the issue of homeless in the City and a charity that is leading the way in addressing the challenge head on.
Please show your support by Tweeting #CGD and donating to St Mungo’s Broadway, which supports more than 2,500 people a night and 25,000 people a year who are either homeless or at risk.