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Society of St James appoints Smith & Williamson as external auditor

Charity awards audit contract

A homelessness charity which provides accommodation and support to more than 2,500 people a year in Hampshire has appointed an external auditor.

The Society of St James approached the South Coast office of Smith & Williamson, the accountancy and investment management group, after hearing about the firm's work with housing associations and charities.

Formed in 1972, the charity works with people who often have diverse and complex issues surrounding substance and alcohol addiction and mental health problems.

Services across Southampton, Portsmouth and wider Hampshire include supported housing, with 338 bed spaces, outreach and help with addictions and mental health.

A social enterprise in Southampton, called Jamie's Computers, refurbishes and resells computers; the charity also runs scores of projects under its 'believing in your future' banner.

The Society of St James also recently won three new contracts in Portsmouth, working with people with substance misuse services, homeless young people and a psycho-social drugs service.

Employing around 250 people, the Society of St James has an annual budget of £7 million.

Julie Mutton, a partner in assurance and business services at the Southampton office of Smith & Williamson, has particular experience with the social housing sector and other non-profit organisations.

She said: "The Society heard about our work for registered social landlords.  The charity, which attempts to give vulnerable people a chance at a new and better future, asked if we could draw upon our sector insight to help,”

Trevor Pickup, the charity's chief executive, said: "Smith & Williamson comes highly recommended, given its highly relevant experience of working in the social housing sector.

"We look forward to working with Julie and her team as we continue to develop our services to support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities."

Headquartered in Albert Road South, Southampton, the roots of the Society of St James go back 43 years when volunteers from a collection of churches opened up a church hall in the city to provide night shelter for 11 homeless men.

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