Ways of Working

The Connection at St Martin’s supports people sleeping rough in the heart of London, helping them to recover and move away from the streets for good.

We do this by getting to know every person we work with, helping them to recognise their own strengths and recover from crisis.

Trusting relationships are at the heart of everything we do – working with people, not for them, at their own pace. We have developed a Connection model of working (our Theory of Change) which is drawn from sector-leading work such as the Psychologically Informed Environment, Trauma Informed Care and Jay Levy’s pre-treatment approach.

Based on this work, we have agreed 4 core cultural traits which guide our day to day behaviour at The Connection. These are Curious, Safe, Together and Motivated.

Our cultural traits


We are respectfully curious about our clients and colleagues, our stakeholders, our work, and the relationships between us. We reflect on our successes and failures to improve our work. We embrace change and new ideas, whilst respecting the process of change. We seek opportunities in crises, remaining solution-focused, open and engaged.


We recognise the fear and danger associated with street homelessness and actively promote the emotional and physical safety of everyone at The Connection. We address power dynamics in support, team, management and governance relationships. We are attuned to cultural, historical and gender issues and address inequality, discrimination and prejudice wherever we see it.


We work “with not for” at all levels by promoting choice, respecting autonomy, mutually defining barriers and developing shared plans. We recognize that the relationships we form are the most important part of our work. There is no “us and them” – only “us” – in our work with clients and with each other regardless of organizational hierarchy.


We are optimistic, dynamic and pragmatic as we support clients and each other to achieve goals and ambitions. We have high standards for ourselves, aiming to be proactive to get things done, attentive to detail and creative in approach. We seek out good practice, share information and expertise and celebrate success.

How we monitor our Traits and Behaviours

Building our organisational culture is everyone’s responsibility. We have a range of structures and systems to support us to do this. Individuals will be held to account through 121 and probation processes etc. Our 121s, annual review and probationary policies provide the structure for individuals and their immediate line managers to discuss and record discussions about Traits and Behaviours.

We also have a number of mechanisms to hold ourselves to account as a team and as an organisation. These include regular meetings, monitoring and learning as well as policies which can be used to ensure our collective accountability.

Providing feedback

We would like clients, volunteers, supporters and other external stakeholders to let us know when we have or haven’t reflected our Traits and Behaviours in our work. To provide us with any feedback, please contact hr@cstm.org.uk