Overstream Clean is a professional cleaning and gardening service for business in the Cambridge city centre. It’s unique in that it mainly uses bicycles with GPS trackers: reliability and communication are key to what it offers businesses and organisations.
In addition, Overstream Clean provides skills training to people with experience of or at risk of homelessness. Working in partnership with local businesses, housing associations and the council, we aim to be an exemplary model of getting people furthest away from employment back into work.
In 2015, 30 people joined their six week cleaning skills training programme and 12 people who have experienced homelessness were employed. Overstream Clean currently employ five cleaning operatives, one to two gardeners, and one supervisor, and pays employees the living wage. 80% of the team reported an improvement in their self-esteem.
Overstream Clean is a project of Cambridge charity Wintercomfort for the Homeless.
Rachel Newell, Social Enterprise Manager at Wintercomfort for the Homeless, oversees the Overstream Clean project. With 11 years experience managing high performing teams and eight years developing social ventures, Rachel is passionate about giving marginalised people the resources and support that they need to succeed and better their chances in life.
Eva Nyari is responsible for day-to-day training and supervision of trainees and cleaning operatives. With experience in teaching, health and safety, and the cleaning industry, Eva is able to train and mentor people with chaotic and challenging lifestyles.
Overstream Clean currently employs five cleaning and gardening operatives.
Overstream Clean aims to create training and work opportunities for those who have experienced homelessness and who face multiple barriers to work.
The enterprise also supports its employees to:
- become more self-confident and have improved self-esteem
- manage money better
- improve health, requiring fewer visits to healthcare services
- reduce the risk of re-offending
- manage their tenancy and their accommodation
- reduce the misuse of drugs and alcohol.