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The Pret Foundation and West London Mission To Close Pret House At WLM St Luke's

8th December 2021 – The Pret Foundation and West London Mission (WLM) have today jointly agreed to close the Pret House at WLM St. Luke’s, the home for the homeless that was set up in 2018.

The Pret House at WLM St Luke’s was initially set up to offer a home to those on the Rising Stars programme, an employment initiative run by Pret and the Pret Foundation. Over the past three years, the House has successfully supported 10 people to transition onwards to private accommodation, and currently has five residents who will soon be transitioned to new accommodation.

WLM will then re-establish the home so that it can provide shelter for key workers.

The Pret Foundation has revisited its priorities for tackling poverty and homelessness and is now focusing its work on scaling a range of other projects that provide support to those in need. This includes the Rising Stars programme, which is dedicated to creating career opportunities to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Since launching the Rising Stars programme in 2008, there have been over 550 recruits, 410 graduates, and we aspire to add a further 150 people to the programme in the coming year. The Pret Foundation will also continue to support shelter initiatives through its financial support programme and redistribute food surplus to those in need each day, and remains committed to working with individuals and charity partners.

Pano Christou, CEO, Pret A Manger said: “The Pret Foundation was set up by Pret’s founders with the singular purpose of breaking the cycle of homelessness. This started with giving away unsold food, and then providing career paths through our Rising Stars programme. We always wanted to take this further, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved at the Pret House at WLM St Luke’s. Whilst The Pret Foundation remains fully supportive of initiatives which focus on longer-term projects aimed at ending and preventing homelessness, it’s become clear that the Foundation’s resources can be better used elsewhere.

“West London Mission have been fantastic partners in this endeavour, and I’m confident they’ll continue to do great work at this home by providing shelter to key workers. Thank you to our residents, past and present, and everyone who has been on this journey with us.”

Roger Clark, CEO, WLM Central Office said: ‘WLM has sincerely appreciated the opportunity to work closely with The Pret Foundation on the delivery of Pret House at WLM St Luke’s. We hope we will be able to continue to work in partnership with The Pret Foundation on our joint aim of ending homelessness in the years ahead’