A London based events company revealed today that it has now employed over 200 people with a history of homelessness and urges other businesses to take Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seriously too.

The event crewing company, named Connection Crew started in 2005 within the homelessness charity Connection at St Martins, from where it takes its name. It supplies manpower to the events industry and aims for 25% of its workforce to have come from a background of homelessness. Having grown yearly, Connection Crew now works with a network of over 20 charities and operates from a three-storey base in Brixton.

In 13 years it has employed 212 ex-homeless people to complete 115,187 hours of work. Based on the average working week, that is the equivalent of over 70 years’ work. In its last financial reporting year alone Connection Crew provided 57 ex-homeless people with over 18k hours’ work, which is over 3k more than the previous 12 months. 

The figures have been revealed as part of its annual CSR Account – an initiative to pay its social impact back to its clients so that they can in turn use the endorsement to win more business. As social value and CSR become more of an imperative for businesses to compete in the 21st century, the number of people experiencing homelessness continues to rise, so it’s a timely rally.

Nick Temple, CEO of Social Investment Business backs-up Connection Crew’s call to action: “Social value is being embedded across sectors, impact investment is spreading like wildfire, and the next generations of employees are actively looking for purpose beyond profit in the companies they join.” 

Temple explains how other companies of any type can get on board: “It increasingly requires them to think about how this relates to their organisation as a whole: their supply chain, their investments, their people and the way they operate. Connection Crew have long been pioneers in understanding this, right back to when they introduced their CSR Account in 2012. They understood then that there is a mutually reinforcing win-win for them and their customers.” 

Charlie Dorman, Director, Connection Crew, commented on this major milestone: “This is a huge accomplishment that we haven’t reached alone. We say it each year but it’s worth saying again: thank you to our clients, our crew and to the charities we work with.”

“We’re not stopping here though, we’re working harder and thinking bigger about how we can do our bit to help more people out of homelessness through employment. Part of that is urging others to take CSR seriously. The smartest CSR initiatives are not a fluffy add-on, they’re intelligent and mutually beneficial and it’s increasingly what your customers and candidates are demanding.”

Connection Crew is also working with Social Enterprise UK and a forum of social enterprises and charities to build a framework that allows them to work together to employ more ex-homeless people, better.