The Merchant Taylors’ Foundation has made its biggest ever donation to Depaul UK, to support the work that we do preventing homelessness in schools.

The Merchant Taylors’ Company is a livery company based in the city of London and dedicated to education and philanthropy. The foundation makes grants that target education, homelessness and projects to create positive lasting change to people’s lives.

The gift, totalling £100,000, will support Depaul’s work in schools in London, as well as supporting the recruitment of a new Family Mediation Worker. The Family Mediation Worker will work together to support young people, their families and the professionals around them to ensure the best outcomes for young people.

Richard Nourse, Chair of Trustees at the Merchant Taylors’ Foundation said: “Merchant Taylors’ Foundation is delighted to support this new initiative from Depaul UK. It will tackle youth homelessness at the root of the problem by spotting signs of problems at home for young people, before they develop into more serious problems further down the line.”

National Prevention Services Manager Amy Smith said: “Sadly in this country, generations of young people are let down in many ways, as problems at home gradually spiral into homelessness, poor health and disengagement from education and work.

“The twin approaches of effective training and workshops in schools, and intensive professional mediation for families at crisis point, represents a cost-effective and targeted response. More than this, it represents hope.”

Supported by the Merchant Taylors’ Foundation, Depaul’s schools programme will reach around 4,000 young people in the next year, as well as 500 school staff and safeguarding professionals. The team will also run targeted workshops with around 240 young people identified as facing higher risk of family breakdown and homelessness, and the programme will ensure that schools know how to refer young people to Depaul for family mediation when they need it.

Depaul UK CEO Mike Thiedke said: “We’re grateful to the Merchant Taylors’ Foundation for this generous donation. We know that prevention is the best way to stop young people from encountering the dangers of homelessness. Thanks to this funding, we’ll be able to support more young people than ever to access prevention workshops and family mediation work.”