Pret Foundation | Ending Homelessness Case Study

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Posted by: Will Dixon, Research & Campaign Executive | Last modified on 20/12/2019

The Pret Foundation is Pret a Manger’s charitable foundation which is a project aimed at providing jobs and training for people who have slept rough. The Pret Foundation’s main aim is to “alleviate poverty, hunger and homelessness”.


In order to reach these aims the Pret Foundation has begun the Rising Stars programme. Launching in 2008, the Rising Stars programme gives those who are homeless a job at a Pret a Manger convenient and suited to them with a team that will provide them with the skills they need. The takes on 40 ‘Rising Stars’ per year, providing them with food, accommodation and travel for three months. Over 450 people have been through the programme in the 11 years it has been active.


Around 75% of ‘Stars’ graduate after 3 months, with half of them staying on at Pret. In addition to this the Pret Foundation has also started the Shooting Stars programme, which involves taking 8 of the graduate Rising Stars on to an 8-month programme of workshops and off-sites to give them skills that will enable them to climb up the career ladder. This upskilling shows the impact that retail and hospitality can have, providing people with the skills to make real, tangible changes to their lives.


Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret said in a blog that “it’s a source of huge pride that so many have moved up the ranks to become Managers, Baristas and Team Leaders”.


Earlier in 2019, Pret opened ‘The Pret House’, a 13-person accommodation to provide those on the Rising Stars programme with affordable living, advice and a job in order to help them break the cycle of homelessness. The house is funded by the sale of some products as well as charitable customer donations, in partnership with the Methodist church’s West London Mission St Luke’s (WLM), and there is a view to increase the number of those accommodated to 20.


Those staying at the Pret House will live there for between 6 and 12 months before moving into a privately rented home. They receive advice from WLM St Luke’s on how to get a bank account, save for a deposit as well as developing wider literacy and computer skills, whilst working in Pret shops nearby.


In addition to this scheme the Pret Charity Run gives over 3 million meals of their unsold food to homeless people in the UK. Made up of volunteers, they collect unsold food from Pret stores and deliver them to hostels and charities which support the homeless every night.


In order to learn more about the Pret Foundation, and to find out how you can help, please visit the Pret Foundation website.



Future Work:

Over the next couple of months, we will be releasing further case studies and big ideas from both retail and other industries on how they are trying to address homelessness.

Read our case study on Social Bite, Change Please, Unhoused, RICs and Beyond Food Foundation

We will also be releasing toolkits on recognising vulnerability to homelessness and the impact of in-work poverty, and encouraging compassionate ways to manage rough sleeping in your area.

We will also be signposting to volunteering opportunities from now and over the Christmas period to help those without proper shelter as we work to eradicate rough sleeping once and for all.

Keep up-to-date with the latest work we are doing in this area on Twitter and LinkedIn.


At Revo, we support the people and businesses involved in the diverse world of retail property and placemaking to thrive and prosper. Get in touch to find out more.