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24 September 2014
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From the street to the shop floor

Headhunting the Homeless: Wednesday 7 May, 9.50-10.30pm, BBC TWO (3-part series)

Starting a new job is daunting at the best of times but the workplace can be a particularly frightening prospect for the homeless.

With issues surrounding substance and alcohol abuse, low self esteem and mental health problems, finding work can be intimidating and difficult.

Headhunting the Homeless follows five people as they try to make the demanding transition into the working world with the help of a radical campaign run by Business Action on Homelessness.

The campaign aims to build people's confidence and improve their employability by finding them work placements with major companies such as Marks & Spencer and Pret A Manger.

Campaign Director Eva Hamilton says: "What we're trying to do on this programme is firstly change perceptions... change the attitudes that business people have towards homeless people... homeless people are just like you or I, anyone could go down that slippery slope."

A two week placement at Sainsbury's will be Carol Thatcher's first job in almost 20 years: "I proved to myself that I can do it... I had tears of joy running down my face... it feels just great, getting another job after being out of work so long."

Carol hopes that this will offer her a new start and help her to reconnect with her children who were taken into care 12 years ago.

Meanwhile 19-year-old Jide Sosimi hopes his placement with top advertising agency Publicis will help him fulfill his dream of being a shoe designer.

But he runs into difficulties when his hostel evicts him for missing his curfew while he rehearses for a play in the evening.

Notes to Editors

Business Action on Homelessness, an initiative of Business in the Community, was launched in 1998.

Business in the Community aims to inspire, challenge, engage and support business in continually improving its positive impact on society.

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