ReStarting lives

Faheem Qureshi, Head of Employment Generation at The Crown Estate

03 August 2017

Getting a job is a wonderful thing. When it’s a chance to turn your life around and make sure you don’t end up on the streets – it’s even better. And when it helps our West End customers find great team members too – well that makes it a win/win for everyone.

We launched our ReStart stewardship project with the Cross River Partnership last year. This is providing intensive support for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Westminster, helping them move into sustainable jobs and supporting our customers with their recruitment needs.

We’re already seeing the first success stories – and that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

My current role at SpaceNK is the ideal career progression – Nathalie’s extra push got me where I am now! Thank you!”


Louise[1] was referred onto ReStart by Vital Regeneration. A single parent living in temporary accommodation, Louise had been actively applying for jobs in the retail sector for nearly six months but struggled to secure an interview. Our ReStart Workplace Co-ordinator, Nathalie, looked at Louise’s beauty and therapy qualification and was impressed by her passion for the subject. Nathalie coached Louise to prepare her for an interview with Space NK. As a result, Louise got a seasonal job offer in their Regent Street store in the run up to Christmas 2016. Louise excelled in her seasonal role and, as a result, was recently offered a full-time one year contract in the store.

Finding affordable childcare support in central London and having a family-friendly employer is rare.”


Emily was referred to ReStart through Jobcentre Plus. A recent pharmacology graduate with six years of prior retail experience, Emily and her two young children were close to becoming homeless due to rent arrears in November 2016. As a single parent with nobody to support her with childcare, it was challenging for Emily to secure a job. Through ReStart, Emily became a full-time Sales Associate at The Left Shoe Company, a customer in our St James’s portfolio. The Left Shoe Company is a family friednly employer and accommodated Emily’s working hours to fit with her family commitments.

Emily explains: “Being coached by Nathalie whilst job hunting is an excellent opportunity. She is my sounding board and helped me to be employed by The Left Shoe Company. Finding affordable childcare support in central London and having a family-friendly employer is rare. I am grateful for the amazing support from Christian of The Left Shoe Company, as well as The Crown Estate.”

It’s inspiring to see how ReStart is helping Westminster residents at risk of homelessness gain jobs, at the same time as supporting our customers with recruitment. This important project builds on our Recruit London programme with the Cross River Partnership, which has helped over 1,500 local people into jobs since 2009.

We’re looking forward to ReStart going from strength to strength too, helping overcome the social and economic impacts of homelessness, which affect not only the individuals but local communities and businesses too. In the first year, the project has supported 13 people at risk of homelessness into employment.

Further information

Recruit London


Recruit Regional

Cross River Partnership’s Family Friendly Employers Toolkit


 [1] All participants’ names have been changed to protect their identities.