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Christmas celebration for helping homeless back to work; thrive.

An award-winning programme that helps homeless people back into work is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a Christmas party today.

About 100 people, including clients and business supporters, are expected to join in the celebrations at the Birmingham Business Action on Homelessness (BAOH) party at the Cadbury Club in Bourn ville.

Run by Business in the Community (BITC), BAO Hin Birmingham is a partnership between business, homeless agencies, Birmingham City Council and the government.

It was launched in 1998 by BITC to break the vicious cycle of no job, no home, no job', by helping people who are homeless find employment and achieve independent living.

Over the last 10 years, 3300 homeless people have gone through the BAOH programme nationally with 1200 of them gaining employment.

Last year, over 90 homeless people registered with the Birmingham BAOH programme. Of those who completed it, 70 per cent gained employment and of those 60 per cent sustained employment for over three months. These figures compare extremely favourably with other schemes helping people who face multiple barriers to employment back into work.

BAOH works by encouraging businesses to support homeless people by offering them pre-employment training, two-week work placements and volunteer job coaches who help clients on a one-to-one basis with careers advice and job searches.

Companies and organisations involved in Birmingham BAOH include; Barclays, Cadbury, Carillion, KPMG, Marks & Spencer, Pertemps People Development Group, Royal Mail, Systems ADI Group Ltd, West Midlands Employer Coalition and Wragge & Co.

Helen Grego from Systems ADI Group Ltd and Deputy Chair of Birmingham BAOH's Steering Group said, "Many companies support homeless organisations at Christmas with charitable donations. Business Action on Homelessness is different - we're a group of businesses working all year round helping homeless people back into work.

"By offering practical help, we've proved businesses can make a real impact on homelessness in Birmingham.

Our Christmas party is a great way not only to celebrate 10 years of BAOH but also to say thank you to everyone who works so hard on the programme during the year".

David Darlaston, Regional Director for Business in the Community said: "Business Action on Homelessness is a fantastic programme that has major national and regional business support."
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 11, 2008
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