A LITTLE-known programme that helps homeless people turn their lives around is celebrating its first decade.

The Sandwich People, run by the salvation Army at its Booth House hostel in the town centre, is a social enterprise creating opportunities and providing them with valuable skills so they can recognise and achieve their full potential.

Elizabeth Osborne, manager at Booth House Lifehouse said: “The Sandwich People makes sandwiches and other fresh food for the buffet service and delivery round that we operate in Swindon.

“Booth House Lifehouse residents get involved by ordering the supplies, making the food and delivering it.

“By doing this, we give them the invaluable opportunity to work with each other and our staff as a team and to deal with our suppliers and customers.

“It helps our residents to rebuild their confidence, gain valuable work-based experience and they can also study for qualifications which can help them find work after they leave Booth House Lifehouse.

The Sandwich People also provides the opportunity to get involved in running a small business and gain valuable work experience in a safe environment.

Booth House runs a number social enterprise projects designed to bring hostel residents, who used to live on the streets, together and work as a team to develop their practical and interpersonal skills.

Every team member undertakes professionally accredited training in food handling and have the opportunity to develop further skills in customer service, health and safety and first aid.

The scheme also has a five star rating from environmental health.

The service includes breakfast, lunch and also a buffet - they also deliver to local companies across town on a daily basis.

Alice Bennett got involved with the scheme as part of a company scheme allowing staff to support a good cause by donating days to volunteering.

The Nationwide employee said: “It was really worthwhile and definitely an eye opener in comparison with the corporate world I’m used to.

“We need to help people and get an understanding of what they have been through, the work Booth House do with these people is fantastic.”