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Simian visit to homeless shelter leads to employment and training

31st May 2016

James Lee House, run by the Salvation Army, supports homeless adults in the Warrington area. It provides supported accommodation and meals with a view to resettlement in long-term accommodation.


Dave went along to the facility, which can accommodate 38 homeless men, to discuss apprenticeships and careers in the scaffolding sector.

Following the visit, Dave contacted  one of our long-term clients,  Cheshire Scaffolds Ltd, to discuss how the two businesses could work together to offer support and opportunities to those housed by the centre. Cheshire Scaffolds have since employed one of the tenants which has meant that he can move on from the support offered by James Lee House and is now employed and living independently.

The visit has also led directly to three of the tenants attending a practical training taster day at Simian HQ in Warrington. One of the three individuals is now booked on to attend a CISRS Operative Training Scheme (COTS) course. Attending the course should improve his chances of gaining long term employment and in turn will hopefully help him to break the cycle of homelessness.

The course is aimed at new entrants to the scaffolding sector and teaches the basics of the industry along with how to work safely with scaffolding and access equipment. Individuals who have completed the COTS training are able to demonstrate that they have up-to-date health and safety knowledge, as well as the relevant industry skills and knowledge to carry out labouring and driving duties in support of scaffold operations in a safe manner.

Dave Abraham said, “The work being done at James Lee House in Warrington and other facilities like it around the country is so important. What struck me is that sometimes it is just one small thing like a conversation with a local employer or an opportunity with a training provider that can then begin a positive chain of events. It can be one small thing that helps that individual to really turn their whole life around.”