Work with homeless people has been going on at St Martin-in-the-Fields since at least 1948, when the first formal organisation was set up by the Church. The Social Care Unit, based on the site, helped homeless people over the age of 26, by providing practical support, advice and daily activities. In 2003, the London Connection and the Social Care Unit merged to create The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
The organisations which collaborate most closely with the Charity –St Martin-in-the-Fields, Radio 4 and The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields – are all highly regarded in their respective fields.
The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields seeks to provide an effective and relevant range of services to homeless people and those who are at risk in central London. It promotes engagement and change and meets physical, personal and emotional needs.
In 2012 The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields received 23% of its total income from the Christmas Appeal. This money was used to support a range of services including the night shelter, café, day centre and advice and support services.
The Connection’s key achievements include:
- 130 people into work and training; 225 people with employment action plans
- 1,320 rough sleepers contacted through street outreach
- 2,225 people used the day centre with café, laundry and showers
- 2,961 people in total received support and advice
- 85% of clients moved forward in a positive way
- 261 people were referred for accommodation
- 696 accessed service provided by the night shelter
The Vicar’s Relief Fund has made grants to 2,768 individuals across the United Kingdom between April 2012 and March 2013. In 2012 we saw a 14% increase in applications with an improvement in our time to respond to applications. Over 80% of grants are awarded within 24 hours of receipt.
The Charity is grateful for the support of a number of organisations including PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) who provide technical support, volunteers and, in 2014, will host our call centre.
Over 120 volunteers supported our activities, answering telephones, processing donations and thanking donors. We are particularly grateful to members of the congregation from St Martin-in-the-Fields, some of who have been volunteering for over 40 years.