James Bowen, the ex-Big Issue vendor turned bestselling author of A Street Cat Named Bob, has backed a new project aimed at helping homeless people off the streets and into work.
Bowen has become an ambassador for Beam, a platform supporting people who believe they have a particular plan to work themselves out of their crisis.
The model sees members referred through homelessness charities – including St Mungo’s and Thames Reach – then assisted through a crowdfunding exercise to gain potentially life-changing skills and employment training.
“Beam is a great way to help these people to get back on their feet and actually train in something they want to do,” said Bowen.
The author and his beloved cat Bob – stars of a recent movie adaptation of the million-selling book – recently met Beam’s first member Tony, an aspiring electrician living in a hostel in south east London.
In less than a month, Tony has successfully funded his campaign to gain training and qualifications as a specialist tradesman – raising £4,378 from 136 supporters.