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London mayor backs digital platform for homeless support



Crowdfunding platform Beam wins backing to connect homeless people with training opportunities

A crowdfunding platform to support homeless people in finding skills and training opportunities has won support from the mayor of London, and is now aiming to provide support to at least 100 people by the end of its first year.

Beam is one of the projects to win support from innovation organisation Nesta in its first round of ShareLab funding earlier this year. Its founder, Alex Stephany, said that soon after testing on the website began in September it won further funding from the mayor.

James Murray, deputy mayor for housing and residential development, said: “The mayor is pleased to support beam as an innovative approach that enables Londoners to help directly.”

Stephany said the amount cannot yet be disclosed but that it will provide more momentum for the platform.

Operating under a social enterprise, it makes details of individuals available on its pages and invites users to pledge support. It is also provides the option of providing a general donation.

Its members are referred to training providers through partnerships with homelessness charities, including St Mungo’s, Centrepoint and Thames Reach.

Stephany has previously crowdfunded the launch of a parking app, JustPark, to the tune of £3.5 million. It now claims more than 1 million customers.


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