Thames Reach Moving In Moving On (MiMo) project

Employment plays an important part of a person’s transition towards independence on their journey away from homelessness.

Thames Reach has high aspirations for all service users and follows a 5 step transitional model to help move people with high support needs towards meaningful occupation. Moving In Moving On (MiMo) project plays an integral part of this transition.

The MiMo project has been developed to help vulnerable people (particularly people who have experienced homelessness) to transition from worklessness into employment. Based at the Employment Academy in Camberwell, and accessible to people who have experienced homelessness from across the 33 London Boroughs.

Moving In Moving On (MiMo) is a painting and decorating training course run by Thames Reach, the aim of the course is to teach participants a set of skills that can be used at home and in the work place. In addition to these practical skills, MiMo also supports participants to develop their social skills and self-confidence and to work as a member of a team.

Training is in part delivered on site at the Thames Reach Employment Academy training rooms as well as on-site at an appropriate project.

In the past year, MiMo trainees have redecorated hostel rooms and communal areas of a project run by West London Mission and Emmaus who provide employment support and residential facilities for up to 40 homeless / vulnerable people.



The MiMo graduate exit interviews have highlighted that:

  • graduates now have a tool-kit which they can use for work

  • many graduates have found employment and use their painting and decorating skills

  • a number of graduates have gone on to take part in the 'Flowers' plastering and tiling course

  • graduates have learnt new skills in a classroom setting as well as a practical application of newly learnt skills in a real work setting

  • 5 graduates have had an opportunity to give something back to their community

  • graduates have been able to develop their self-confidence, consider the needs of others and develop their ability to work in a team

  • graduates have had the opportunity to access numeracy, literacy and ICT training so that they are able to price up a painting & decorating job

  • graduates have had the chance to meet and socialise with new people, build positive friendships and develop team skills.


Joey lives in one of TR Lewisham’s supported housing properties. Joey is in his early 20's and prior to starting MiMo had little or no motivation, and lacked self-confidence. His key-worker, Terry encouraged and supported Joey to attend the MIMO course.

Before starting MiMo Joey found it difficult to get up in the morning, often not getting up until mid-afternoon and had little or no structure in his life.

After attending a MiMo taster day, Joey was still reticent to engage with other students or staff. With Terry's support, Joey attended the full MiMo course and discovered that learning painting and decorating skills was enjoyable and rewarding. Joey initially struggled with socialising with the group, but one of the students saw this and took Joey under his wing.

As the course progressed Joey gained his self-confidence and he began to talk more and his body language became more open and he smiled.

On the day of the graduation Joey got the largest cheer from his fellow participants when he went to collect his certificate. Joey was most proud of his work and enjoyed showing guests who attended the MiMo graduation the hostel room that he had painted and decorated.

Joey has enrolled in further painting and decorating courses, which he continues to enjoy. He has kept the routine of going to bed early, so he can get up and not be late for classes. He is clearly more confident and most importantly is making plans for the future which include independent housing and employment using his newly found skills.

Joey is now taking part in a Tiling and Plastering course which also includes a city and guilds functional skills English and Maths. He has also started to rebuild his relationship with his family after a long period of isolation.