A charity aiming to tackle homelessness through employment in the hospitality industry was launched in the House of Commons this week.

Called Only a Pavement Away, the charity aims to help those on the streets or those sofa surfing to find employment. 

It will achieve this by acting as a go-between employers in the hospitality industry - including pubs - and other businesses supporting the homeless, ex-offenders and ex-service personnel.

The charity's programme provides full training for each candidate with a network of support from companies and other charities, underpinned with a 12 month support package after the initial work to ensure the best chance of individuals being able to turn their lives around.

It has been working with fellow charity Crisis to provide a joined up approach to housing and employment support to prevent future and repeat homelessness as well as those at risk. 

The launch was attended by homelessness minister Heather Wheeler, with the government's rough sleeping strategy aiming to halve homelessness by 2022. Figures suggest that as many as 4,751 people are sleeping rough each night.

It is hoped as the UK's fourth largest employer with 1.3 million roles by 2024 that the hospitality industry can help reduce homelessness through job opportunities. 

Founder and chief executive of Greg Mangham said: "Our mission is to help reintegrate people back into society through employment, giving individuals a fresh start, whether homeless, ex-military personnel or ex-offenders. 

"We have an opportunity to nurture a partnership between those charities who manage and assist the vulnerable, with an industry that is looking to fill a wealth of roles and opportunities with people from all walks of life. 

"Our pilot schemes have been encouraging and we are excited to get things fully underway."