Lightning partners with Fat Macy’s to tackle homelessness in London

Homelessness is on the rise, with the number of homeless households jumping from 207,600 in 2018 to 227,000 by the end of 2021 – that’s a 9% increase in just three years. Frighteningly, people experiencing homelessness are over nine times more likely to take their own life than the general population. 

Homelessless is a vicious cycle. Saving money for a rental deposit can be near-on impossible for those living in temporary accomodation, since our benefits system effectively means they’re penalised for going to work, meaning they end up with little extra money to show for their graft.

That’s where Fat Macy’s comes in. This unique social enterprise helps get Londoners out of hostels and into their own homes by offering them training in their restaurant and catering business, plus intensive one-to-one support and, crucially, access to a rental deposit.

For people experiencing homelessness, culinary and hospitality training is more than just a chance to learn and master valuable skills. Fat Macy’s 200-hour work experience programme is an invitation to engage in a social, professional environment, increasing their confidence and self-esteem at the same time.

Fat Macy’s also offers tailored support designed around each individual’s needs, focusing on wellbeing, employability and sustaining a tenancy. As well as invaluable practical guidance in finding new opportunities, many discover a truly transformative relationship that helps them rediscover their autonomy and take control of their future.

So far 30 trainees have completed the programme, with seven being awarded a full grant to move into their own long-term rented accommodation. Fat Macy’s has provided thousands of hours of training and support, and saved £46k in housing deposits.


Here at Lightning, we want to support this incredible initiative. So we’re giving Fat Macy’s graduates the boost they need to land a job they love by advising on CV-writing, LinkedIn-polishing, network-building, and all-important job applications via 1:1 sessions, giving these epic humans the love & attention they deserve. 

Excitingly, we just found out Amika – who we recently helped with a swish new LinkedIn pic and strategic, confidence-enhancing job-hunt advice – just landed a shiny new role in HR (her dream field). Nice one, Amika! We’ve got a feeling she’ll be the first of many.

Want to get involved? Why not make a donation to help Fat Macy’s continue their life-changing work.


You can see the video we created alongside Amika to showcase her superpowers below:

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16th December

Company news ED&I