Company solving homelessness with sustainable soap launches in Rotherham

by | 19 April 2022 | Community Focus, Rotherham, Support Group

The first organisation in the UK to support those experiencing homelessness into employment through eco-friendly cosmetics making has launched.

Labre’s Hope, based in Rotherham, was co-founded by 25-year-old Aaron Probert and 23-year-old Joash Nelson-Piercy and will get those experiencing homelessness back into work by providing them with an employment opportunity to make handcrafted, sustainable cosmetics.

The project has received half a million pounds in funding from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund and is part-funded by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

Ten initial beneficiaries have been selected to be employed by Labre’s Hope, which will not only provide them with living wage employment but offer bespoke job coaching through South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA) to boost their skill sets – maximising their financial and career prospects. SYHA will also provide social housing, a core element to helping people start their journey out of homelessness.

Crisis will provide a series of ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ sessions on topics such as understanding and managing change and dealing with stress and anxiety.

Aaron was inspired to set up the organisation after hearing the story of someone he met while studying at Sheffield University. She had experienced domestic abuse which led to alcohol escapism and becoming isolated from her support network due to her abuser. After hearing this, Aaron wrote his dissertation based on a business model and has now made it come to life.

The soap will be natural and plant-based and profits from products will be directly channelled into empowering people experiencing homelessness through employment training and wellbeing support.

Labre’s Hope is aiming to branch out to major cities such as London and Manchester in the next few years, with a goal of supporting 200 people to the end of their homelessness journey over the next five years.
Aaron said: “I am thrilled that our vision for helping people experiencing homelessness to achieve independence has finally come to life.

“Finding meaningful employment is one of the most crucial steps to help those experiencing homelessness and I am confident that our project will provide people with the skills they need to develop their independence.”