10/13 Bespoke opportunities Mayday developed very positive relationships with local, regional and national employers, many of whom offered to provide opportunities to people living in Mayday accommodation. However, the take up of placements was mixed and staff talked about spending significant amounts of time trying to encourage people to get involved, often with limited success. People told us that they were not interested in some of the areas of work on offer and talked about the embarrassment they felt turning up to a workplace as ‘the homeless trainee’. Some young people said that their families put pressure on them to take on casual work to earn income. Some people said that they did not want their benefits affected. A small number of people said they didn’t want to work. We took action We changed how we found work placement opportunities for people and instead of finding the opportunities first and trying to get people to attend, we brokered work and educational placements individually based on what people actually wanted to do. We also put the power in the hands of the individuals to encourage them to make their own approaches and to negotiate terms of the offers themselves. Mayday Inspire looks beyond homelessness and provides real opportunities for people based on their skills and interests. No more ‘square peg, round hole’!