How Beam Works

1. Homeless organisations recommend members

Beam partners with charities and other organisations that support homeless people. These organisations recommend homeless people to Beam who want to complete training and get into skilled work.

Generally, the people Beam supports are housed in temporary accommodation, rather than sleeping on the street.

In Beam’s first 18 months, roughly 75% of people we’ve supported have been in temporary housing. The other 25% were sofa surfing, rough sleeping, or at risk of homelessness.

2. Beam allocates caseworker

We call the people Beam supports our members. Each member gets allocated a caseworker at Beam, known as a Member Manager. A Member Manager is a trained professional employed by Beam who supports the member from the day they’re referred until the day they’re in work.

You can see a photo and the name of each member’s Member Manager on their campaign page.

Meet the member managers

3. Beam undertakes safety checks

We undertake some basic checks with members wanting to join Beam:

  • We confirm their right to work in the UK.
  • We get written consent from the member to take at least two references.
  • Where necessary, we contact their professional support network, such as mental health services or the Jobcentre, to get agreement to proceed and note any special considerations for training and work.
  • If the person has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, we require at least 12 weeks of abstinence.

More about safety at Beam

4. Members plan career

Together, the member and Member Manager plan a career that builds on the member’s unique strengths and interests.

Beam applies two main tests to the training and work plan:

  1. Will the training materially increase the person’s employability?
  2. Is there a good chance of finding work aligned with the training?

The member may also visit training providers in the relevant area and speak to professionals about the type of work they’ll go into.

We create a list of all costs associated with the training and work plan. As well as training, this can include specialist equipment, childcare, or travel to and from training. This budget appears transparently on each member’s campaign.

We work with the member to financially plan their transition into work. This may include planning how much money to save each month for a rental deposit.

5. Supporters fund training

The member launches their online fundraising campaign on Beam! The public, who hear about Beam through social media, news stories or word of mouth, then fund their campaign. Items are purchased directly by Beam and we never hand out cash to members.

We call someone who funds a Beam member their supporter. Supporters can donate directly to one person or split their donation between all live campaigns. Supporters can also give each month. We generally encourage split donating on Beam so all campaigns fund at roughly the same rate.

Browse the campaigns

6. Members complete training

After we’ve raised enough funding, the member starts their training! They can post updates on their progress which get emailed to their supporters. The Member Manager stays in touch with the member throughout their training, as well as with their course tutor.

Each member’s campaign budget includes an extra 10% which provides a pooled ‘contingency’ fund. We can tap into this if course prices change, if the person needs extra tuition, or if additional courses are identified during their training which will help to find work.

More about training

7. Members start work

Once a member has completed their training, we collaborate on getting them into work, if they have not already found a placement. We do this in some of the following ways:

  • Creating a CV and covering letter.
  • Making introductions to employers or recruiters in the relevant sector.
  • Providing interview preparation.
  • Meeting regularly to review progress and troubleshoot problems.

After the member starts work, we check-in with them for the first 26 weeks to see how they’re finding the job and check they feel settled and happy.

Read success stories

8. Members give back

We ask members to consider giving back once they’re in stable, paid work. This can be done by:

  • Paying forward the amount of money they raised on Beam through small monthly donations to new members.
  • Mentoring new members who are pursuing the same career goal on Beam.
  • Doing interviews with the media or presenting at homeless organisations to raise awareness of Beam’s work and help find new members to follow in their footsteps.

Read More FAQs

Do you have any feedback or questions for us?

Get in Touch

Join the Team

If you share our values and want to make a major positive impact, we're currently hiring.
View open roles
Read More Success Stories