About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: October 2013
Website: www.hosb.org.uk
Twitter: @HoStBarnabas
Location: Soho, London

A homelessness charity and hostel since 1864, HOSB embarked on a new social enterprise scheme in 2013, launching an employment academy to offer 360 degree support for people affected by homelessness.

The programme provides work experience, City and Guilds qualifications, job opportunities and mentoring for 75 people a year. The real innovation, however, was to integrate the academy with its social business - a non-profit private members’ club.

HOSB partnered with Benugo to restore a Grade I listed building and create bespoke social spaces for the club, the membership fees of which directly fund the employment academy. Aiming to break the cycle of homelessness, the academy provides people with the opportunity to reintegrate back into the working environment of the club, while gaining new skills and experience.

HOSB redefines the notion of the exclusive club, curating an inspiring environment to attract “the incurably curious and those motivated by social change”.

The club’s vision is: “To be a place where the pleasures and needs of one group facilitate the dreams of others”, says Sandra Schembri, Chief Executive.

The next 12-week employment academy programme begins in September.