13 November 2006

Smiths helps St Mungo's make London's homeless healthier

SMITHS Group, the global technology business, today announced that it is funding a new Health Manager for St Mungo's as part of an initiative to make Londons homeless healthier.

St Mungo's, Londons leading homeless charity, provides practical support for thousands of homeless and vulnerable people each year by helping them find a place to live; develop their skills through education and training programmes; build positive relationships with other people and improve their mental and physical health.

The new Health Manager, who will work across the London boroughs, will train staff on key health issues and build strong relationships with local health authorities to help the charitys 1,700 residents gain access to vital health services from GPs, hospitals and statutory services.

This training will enable staff to recognise symptoms of serious conditions and will also include awareness of healthy eating, sexual health and access to exercise for all residents.

The cooperation between St Mungos and Smiths was launched formally on Thursday 9th November at the Endell Street Hostel in Covent Garden. Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, Chief Executive of Smiths Group, said: We are delighted to be able to contribute towards such an important initiative in our community.

Homeless people can suffer from poor health due to sleeping rough but are often unable to obtain the health care services they need due to social exclusion.

Kate Whalley, the new Health Manager for St Mungo's, said: This crucial support from Smiths will enable us to train all our staff about all of these key health issues and help our clients to get the help they need. Given the seriousness of some residents health conditions, this work could save around 100 lives each year.

Smiths is also investigating employee volunteering opportunities with St Mungos to benefit both the charity and Smiths people, who can build their skills whilst giving something back to their local community.

ENDS