The Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity has granted an emergency £100,000 to the region’s homelessness charitable sector and today launches an urgent appeal calling on big business and individuals to donate funds to support voluntary, community and social enterprises during this COVID-19 crisis.
These donations will be essential in supporting the vital work of the voluntary, public, private and faith sectors, as they work flat-out to safeguard the health and wellbeing of people across Greater Manchester living without a home.
Donations will form the basis of packages of goods to be delivered to those homeless people currently living in hotel accommodation, following a multi-million pound package of support.
Tim Heatley, Chair of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, said: “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.
“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.”
In addition to providing financial support, Greater Manchester’s business community is 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.
Greater Manchester already puts the wellbeing of people sleeping rough front and centre of its priorities, with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, declaring that ending the need for rough sleeping is his number one priority.
Last week the Mayor Andy Burnham announced a 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.
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 public can visit gmmayorscharity.co.uk to donate.
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 via gmmayorscharity.co.uk.