September has been a landmark month for the Lifeshare family as we expanded our Weekend Breakfast Project to include an additional Friday offering. This was at the request of the Manchester City Council as part of their Homelessness Reduction Strategy.
Although Lifeshare has offered Weekend Breakfasts for decades and expanded in partnership during the COVID19 lockdown, this was the first proposed long-term expansion into the weekdays for our hot food provision. This has presented a unique set of challenges as we work to train and onboard volunteers to help us staff this additional offering as well as cover the 1/3 increase in food costs each week on top of rising prices. If you’d like to sign up to volunteer you can click this link to find out more. If you’d like to donate a fiver to buy someone a breakfast you can click here to do that.
Our 18-25 crisis service, CARDS, has been hard at work in the community. Throughout September we recorded 676 contacts, 74 wellbeing appointments, 397 contacts with partner services and agencies, 7 probation contacts, and one court appearance.
The Manchester Digital Collective:
The MDC has been hard at work delivering a workshop series in partnership with the Pankhurst Centre and Manchester Women’s Aid this month. These sessions worked to bring digital skills to women and were so well received by the attendees that this partnership will continue to operate in the future. Look out for more news on that next week! Through our device refurbishment scheme we have redistributed 8 phones, 1 tablet, and 2 PCs as well as giving out 16 SIM cards with almost 2000 GB of data to keep people connected!
Respite Breakfast Project:
With the start of Friday breakfasts the service has seen a new set of challenges but with the help of our volunteers, donations from the public, and our partners we have made a big start! Our first Friday saw just 9 guests but as word spread we were able to provide 30 meals on week tw0. This is in addition to the 70+ breakfasts we serve each Saturday & Sunday which brings our weekly meal total to over 175.
Throughout the month we also provided 65 takeaway meals and 27 well-being packs. We also gave out 76 pairs of socks, 59 pairs of underwear, 55 pairs of joggers, and 49 jumpers. We gave out 29 coats this month but could have given out more if our clothing bank had stock. If you are getting a new coat this Autumn please consider donating your gently used coats so we can provide for our guests. During the month we saw 464 guests and are seeing a high demand for hygiene products. If you have small travel-size products that you won’t use, please think of us!
We held our second annual partner’s thank you event at Sedulo’s Regency Club. This allowed us to plan further partnership work and share the first details of new ways for local businesses to get involved in volunteering and fundraising. We also confirmed that we will be hosting our second annual 5-a-side Football Tournament in Spring 2023. Elsewhere we have been busy at work on our annual Christmas Project. We are hard at work on a new volunteer application for 2022. If you are subscribed to our newsletter or registered to volunteer with us already you’ll be the first to know when these opportunities are live so make sure you are subscribed here to get the details sent directly to you.