City Lit Blog

Jeremy Swain receives City Lit Lifetime Fellowship

Story added 28th Feb 2017

City Lit fellow Jeremy Swain in conversation with Ken Olisa

Jeremy Swain, Chief Executive of Thames Reach, the London-based charity helping homeless and vulnerable people, recently joined City Lit to talk about his experiences and receive his City Lit Lifetime Fellowship award.

He was joined on stage by Ken Olisa, the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London (and Honorary President of Thames Reach), with the pair enjoying a wide-ranging discussion exploring Jeremy’s early life and motivations, his thoughts on the current state of homelessness in London, and his insight on how skills and adult education can help transform the lives of homeless people. 

City Lit has a long and proud working relationship with Thames Reach, running health and social care apprenticeships with the charity, as well as a customer service courses to support learners who have experienced homelessness in looking for work. Other notable projects include Personal Best (2010-2012); a scheme linked to the London 2012 Olympics where City Lit partnered with a number of homeless sector partners to provide a training/volunteering programme to prepare people to volunteer at the 2012 games; and Coaching for Change (2011-2012), where City Lit worked with a range of partners in the homeless sector to develop and deliver coaching training for frontline workers to support staff in their work with clients.

Joint initiatives between City Lit and Thames Reach helping people find work continue to this day, with pioneering courses planned throughout 2017.

Jeremy received his City Lit Lifetime Fellowship Award from Chair of the Board of Governors Dame Moira Gibb. City Lit Fellowships are awarded to individuals who have shown a significant commitment to adult education in the United Kingdom and who have provided support and inspiration to City Lit and our students. Other City Lit Fellows include prominent politicians Ed Balls and Sir Vince Cable, BAFTA award-winning actress Gillian Anderson, and acclaimed authors Andrea Levy and Malorie Blackman OBE

Wendy McKaig, Head of Faculty, Faculty of Culture and Communication at City Lit, added:

“Jeremy is a passionate advocate of improving the lives of homeless people and reaching a point where no-one needs to sleep rough on the streets.”