Lifeshare is the oldest homelessness charity in Manchester and has been working for nearly 40 years to support homeless and vulnerable people across Greater Manchester and Salford. Our work takes many people working together to provide the support and supplies that are needed and one of the many ways that this is possible is through our partners. Over the years we have worked with some of the most amazing businesses in Manchester and today begins a series where we can highlight the work of these partners and how they make our services possible.
Big Yellow Self Storage has partnered with Lifeshare since 2020. They provide a storage unit that helps store out-of-season supplies (like our Christmas Project decorations) as well as stock that is too plentiful for our small in-office clothing bank. They have also stored non-perishable food items like tins of beans or tomatoes as we organise and provision our Respite Project which serves breakfast 3 times each week to rough sleepers. As of Summer 2023, we serve 300+ guests each weekend.
Big Yellow Charity Commitment
Big Yellow supports many charities across their business, but when asked why they supported Lifeshare in particular they shared the following:
“As part of our commitment to local communities, Big Yellow aims to support charities across the UK. We are delighted to have been able to donate storage space to Lifeshare over the last few years. We see the team’s engagement and passion every time we meet to discuss upcoming projects. Lifeshare’s purpose, meeting the needs of people going through tough times, is something that really resonates with Big Yellow. Their work is vital in responding to the changing nature of Manchester and the challenges its most vulnerable people face. We recognise the importance of the services that Lifeshare provides in the Manchester area and are excited to continue this partnership into the future.”
In addition to the free storage unit provided for Lifeshare’s core operations, Lifeshare’s digital inclusion arm, The Manchester Digital Collective, also benefits from a discounted unit. The Manchester Digital Collective or MDC brings together 20+ partners from around Greater Manchester to fight digital exclusion and provide access to digital devices, data, and skills. The MDC’s storage unit is part of their Device Refurbishment scheme. The MDC takes in donations of unused tech, phones, laptops, and tablets, and refurbished or recycles them to be redistributed to those experiencing digital poverty in the Manchester community. The Big Yellow storeroom houses some of the device bank that members can then submit requests in to to give their clients access to the wonders of the digital world.
Lifeshare’s Operations Manager, Judy Vickers, commented on the impact of Big Yellow’s support.
“Honestly they have been lifesavers for us! As a small charity with limited space, having the extra room has allowed us to take larger donations and then feed them back into our clothing and food banks as other items go out. It also allows us to save on Christmas preparations as we can save items year on year and reuse them. The unit also helps with our device bank as they accept donations for us which can then be fixed up and given out to those in need. I can’t say enough about how great the team has been as well. They always greet us with a smile and are ready to help as much as they can!”