Press Releases



The House of St Barnabas

Not-for-profit members’ club The House of St Barnabas has today (16 January 2014) announced an exciting new partnership with Debenhams, which will see the department store donate suits to London’s homeless to help them get back into work. 

Debenhams is supporting the official launch of the charity’s Employment Academy that operates at the heart of its not-for-profit members’ club, which opened its doors in Autumn 2013.  

In the first enterprise of its kind, the club’s membership fees facilitate the work of the Employment Academy in providing training and work experience for those affected by homelessness. 

Debenhams will offer personal shopping appointments to Employment Academy participants, donating suits to each client to be worn for job interviews whilst they receive City&Guilds accredited hospitality training in the UK’s first not-for-profit members’ club.  

Says Ed Watson, Director of PR at Debenhams: 

“A job interview can be scary enough without worrying how you might afford the outfit to make the right impression and potentially secure you that all-important job. 

“So we’re delighted to be supporting the brilliant work of The House of St Barnabas to make sure its participants look and feel ready for job interviews. Our expert personal shoppers will give interviewees one-to-one styling advice and find them the perfect interview outfit, which we’ll be letting them take home free of charge.” 

The House of St Barnabas is a charity in the heart of Soho. Since its foundation as a charity in 1846, The House of St Barnabas has strived to realise its vision of a future where sustained employment is a reality for those affected by homelessness. The work of the charity is supported by the not-for-profit member’s club. Since opening its doors in October, the club has captured the imagination of Londoners looking for a home from home that fuses luxury and comfort with an innovative model that inspires and enables social change.

The House of St Barnabas also works in partnership with Benugo to deliver its elegant dining and drinking at the club, as well as working closely with the Employment Academy to provide opportunities and training to clients on the programme. This is the first time that Benugo has collaborated with a members' club, after numerous successful ventures in public spaces, including the V&A Cafe and the BFI Southbank. 

Benugo is well placed to create a space that is thoughtful, considered and inspirational in its approach, with experience working in the charity sector through their support of charities including Crisis and Jamie's Farm.



The club is enriched by the long tradition of culture in the historic House, from intimate gigs in the chapel, to on-going relationships with artists such as Hew Locke and Rankin. High profile founding members include Gilles Peterson, Andrew Weatherall, Rob da Bank, Jarvis Cocker, Miranda Sawyer, Ekow Eshun and Richard Strange, all of whom have each curated intimate and inspiring events for the club’s ongoing and well respected Culture Series, set within the beautiful chapel of the House.  Beth Orton’s gig was hailed “a dream” (Clash Magazine). 

In Spring 2013, The House of St Barnabas was awarded official CoolBrands status for 2013-2014, as chosen by an expert panel of industry figures. CoolBrands acts as a barometer of Britain’s coolest brands, people and places and The House of St Barnabas is excited to take its place among some of Britain’s most exciting organisations.

The House of St Barnabas has also been chosen to be one of the Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers for 2013/14, one of 16 new Pioneers who are working to address social issues across various sectors. Deloitte will provide tailored support to help The House of St Barnabas grow as a successful social business.

The House of St Barnabas was also a finalist in the Social Enterprise UK awards 2013 as “One to Watch”.

The work of design agency The Gild in creating the identity of the charity and the club at The House of St Barnabas has also been recognised in the prestigious D&AD Awards. The beautiful membership brochure has been nominated in the graphic design category of the awards which recognise best practice in the creative industries.


About Us
Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of over 240 stores across 27 countries. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.

Debenhams has been investing in design for over 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands. Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Sadie Frost and Jemima French, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Stephen Jones, Ben de Lisi, Todd Lynn, Julien Macdonald, Jenny Packham, Ren Pearce and Andrew Fionda, Aliza Reger, John Rocha, Ashley Thomas, Justin Thornton, Thea Bregazzi, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson. 


Debenhams Press Office
020 3549 6420 /

top arrow