Last week, Mayor Andy Burnham announced a £5 million emergency scheme to accommodate 1,000 people sleeping rough and in temporary shared accommodation in hotel rooms across the city-region, to protect them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity has granted an emergency £100,000 to the city-region’s homelessness charitable sector.
And today, the charity has launched an urgent appeal calling on big business and individuals to donate funds to help support local voluntary, community and social enterprises.
In addition to providing financial support, Greater Manchester’s business community is also being asked to make bulk donations of essential items including, food, such as cereals and microwaveable meals, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soaps and wet wipes, and even white goods and IT equipment.
These goods will be channelled by the organisation Street Support to those working on the frontline, able to get items to the people who need them most.
“While our community, and communities around the world, are facing this pandemic, it has never been more important to show that in Greater Manchester, we pull together in times of adversity to lift each other up,” said Tim Heatley, chair of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity.
“The Mayor’s Charity fundraises all year round and is focused on reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness, and in particular rough sleeping.
“We’ve already made an emergency contribution of £100,000 – this is a recognition of the pressure on budgets and the immediate need for support. The funding will be vital in enabling the hard work of those on the frontline assisting and safeguarding the homeless community throughout Greater Manchester during this pandemic.
“But we can do so much more.
“We’re looking at a moment in time where everyone sleeping rough across the city-region is off the streets – this gives us an opportunity to change things in the long term. With the generosity of those living in Greater Manchester, and the support of its business community, we may be able to end rough sleeping across our city-region all together.
“Let’s show the rest of the world what Greater Manchester can do when we all come together.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, added: “I welcome this appeal from the Mayor’s Charity, an enterprise I support by regularly giving 15% of my salary each month.
“The Charity recognises the severity of the situation the homeless community are facing at this time, and the need for urgent financial support for those groups and people dedicated to helping.
“Homelessness organisations across our city-region are doing fantastic things and I am pleased the emergency donation of £100,000 from the Charity will support them in their vital work. Those people already assisted into hotels will, with your help, now benefit from the delivery of frequent packages of essential goods.
“The appeal will complement the work we’re already doing to house a thousand homeless people in hotels across the city-region. The range of effort going into helping our most vulnerable at a time of a national public health crisis shows that Greater Manchester is a compassionate society – we don’t just walk on by.
“We have a moral and ethical duty to help those sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness and I am proud of the steps we have put in place.
“Though a very difficult time in our city-region’s history, it is to be hoped that this could be a turning point in our ongoing fight against homelessness.”
The charity is asking businesses for bulk supplies of:
- Food packages – i.e. Dry food such as cereals, microwaveable meals, tea/coffee, sugar, fruits
- Welfare packages – i.e. toothbrush, toothpaste, flannels, shampoo, shower gel, sanitary products, deodorant
- Hygiene packages – i.e. Hand sanitiser, hand wash, soaps, wet wipes, tissues
- Food preparation equipment – i.e. Microwaves, hot plates
- Cutlery and crockery – i.e. knives, forks, bowls, plates, cups and mugs
- Transportation – for delivery of food and welfare packages
- Essential IT equipment – i.e. smartphones, laptops
- Solo activities – i.e. games, consoles, notebooks, pens
Though not possible to receive donations of individual items at this time, if any businesses or organisations are able to donate items in bulk they are encouraged to get in touch. Individuals can also make a donation via the link below.