Lifeshare has supported the vulnerable people of Manchester for 35 years as the oldest homelessness charity in the city. We often get asked about our work and what our frontline workers do in the course of their duties to have an impact on the lives of the young people we serve. To show our supporters what we do, and what their generous donations support, we are going to be focusing on different roles in our team and each month we’ll be sharing directly from the frontline. For our first feature we spoke to one of our support workers and asked them about what they do and some of the moments they saw the impact of their work.
I am a part of Lifeshare’s frontline team working as a support worker. In my role, I support the resettlement of young people, assist clients with medical problems, help set up benefits and provide debt management advice, and complete weekly welfare checks. At Lifeshare, no day is ever the same.
In my role, I have noticed the many hardships faced by our young people due to problems such as not having ID. This makes it difficult to apply for bank accounts and therefore difficult to access benefits. We have seen many young people at risk of financial exploitation due to this. Luckily, Lifeshare has made some amazing connections with local banks and we are working on making bank accounts more accessible for our young people.
An example of this is when a young client came to Lifeshare in need of a bank account and universal credit. They did not believe they would be able to receive benefits without a bank account and had no ID. I worked with this young person to make a new claim and advocated for the Job Centre to support them to find an alternative solution. This resulted in the young person receiving financial support, which consequently got them out of rent arrears and onto the housing pathway.
Results like this show how vital Lifeshare is in making connections and helping people that may have slipped between gaps in services to access support and progress.
Favourite Memory: I can recall one instance where I compiled a list of slow cooker recipes to help a client get into cooking. I enjoy cooking so I combined that with my knowledge of their cooking facilities and typical food parcel contents to help them create affordable nutritious meals.