Fonts for good; how Lost & Foundry helps London’s homeless

Ellena Bianchi-Barry News
19 Oct’18

Ellena Bianchi-Barry is Head of Marketing and Communications at The House of St Barnabas. In this article she talks about the work of the House and what the Lost & Foundry donations mean to them.

The House of St Barnabas is a social enterprise members’ club and Employment Academy that exists to break the cycle of homelessness. All profits generated by the club are gifted to the Employment Academy which offers participants training, work experience and real jobs, all under the same Grade 1 listed roof at number 1 Greek Street.

Integral to its work, The House of St Barnabas believes that gaining and maintaining paid work is instrumental to independence and security. We’ve worked hard to build this environment in the listed “House of Charity”; in a time and society where there is so much disconnect, The House of St Barnabas is a place where people can feel connected. The House has a 200-year charitable history but has been operating in its current incarnation since 2013. It offers members a creative cultural space, and a home from home, all within the Grade 1 listed walls. But the real magic happens in the Employment Academy.

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A graduate of the Employment Academy who is now employed in the Club’s front of house team.

The Employment Academy typically runs three 12-week employment preparation programmes per year, each programme will see between 15 and 20 participants embark on intensive work to prepare them to return to employment. This includes CV workshops, personal development training, work experience in the club and the opportunity to work towards a City & Guilds Award. Since 2013, 89% of all participants have gained a City & Guilds Award and more than 65% of all graduates go on to secure jobs. Once a participant has graduated from the Employment Academy, their interaction with the House doesn’t stop; all graduates are offered 12-months post graduate employer support from a specialist Employment Support Officer, and if needed, help in finding suitable and stable accommodation. Graduates can also choose a mentor to work with, usually these mentors come from the club’s own membership.

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Launched earlier this summer by Fontsmith, M&C Saatchi and Line Form Color, the Lost & Foundry collection is a set of seven bespoke fonts inspired by the crumbling signs of Soho. All profits from sales of the fonts are donated to The House of St Barnabas’ work in supporting people affected by homelessness into lasting paid work. Donations are so important to the House and funds raised really do make a difference to London’s homeless. We are so grateful to everyone who has bought the fonts already, and encourage anyone who hasn’t yet to do so, all sales go directly to us and will have a real impact on our work. 

Each of the fonts in the Lost and Foundry collection is named according to the specific content or location relevant to them, such as Berwick, Cattle & Son and Marlborough. The House of St Barnabas’ has its own bespoke font, inspired by the signage on its façade, which was rediscovered in 2014. FS Charity retains its original, incorrect characters in its lowercase form, creating a lively, decorative texture to any typesetting.

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The House of St Barnabas was the 2016 winner in the London Homelessness Awards and was named as Nesta New Radical in the same year. Each purchase of the Lost and Foundry collection comes with a one-month access pass to The House of St Barnabas, so you can experience all the club has to offer for yourself.

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Test drive and buy fonts from the Lost & Foundry collection now from £15 per style.

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