This week, United legends Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs have told a group of homeless men who set up camp inside a landmark building that they can stay throughout the winter.
The building (pictured (C) Christopher Thomond for the Guardian) has been purchased by the famous Class of 92 footballers to create a brand new hotel in Manchester City Centre.
In the news this week, one man spoke to Channel 4 News about how, since the news and since he’s had a roof over his head for the past few nights he has managed to take himself off drugs thanks to the fact that his happiness and wellbeing has increased by simply being warm and dry each evening. He says his head is a lot straighter since the news and hopes it’s a sign of things to come (click to see the video below)
Gestures like this one from Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs can often be the perfect hand up to help people who are struggling on the streets. Not knowing whether they’re going to be warm and dry this winter is a huge issue for homeless people and having this security allows these individuals to enjoy the winter a little more than they usually would.
Forever Manchester aims to “give a hand up not a hand out”. We believe in supporting local people doing extraordinary things together and aim to encourage communities to help people from their area who may be struggling. This ethos runs through the veins of Greater Manchester and we hear incredible stories of exactly this every day from community projects we fund.
A hand up worked for Luke Carter, who was helped by Chelwood Foodbank Plus, supported by Forever Manchester.
Chelwood Foodbank, based in Stockport provides a safe haven for local residents who are facing financial hardship and are struggling to provide the basics for themselves and their families.
Luke Carter found Chelwood Foodbank Plus while living on the streets. The foodbank donated a sleeping bag and tent, clothing and food to help Luke out. Since this Luke has turned over a new leaf and has helped out at the foodbank on a number of occasions and has also promoted awareness days and helped with food collections.
Luke Carter, is a 19-year-old from Adswood, Stockport, who became homeless in January 2014. He fell in with the wrong crowd and got into debt because of cannabis. His mother kicked him out and he then stayed with friends. While he was staying with friends, the police came looking for Luke and knocked at a few houses looking for him. As a result, his friends kicked him out. Luke also owed these people money due to selling cannabis on their behalf and keeping money to support himself.
Luke then found himself in Brindale House (supported accommodation) but ended up in more trouble when he brought a cannabis plant onto the premises, resulting in being thrown out. The police were involved and Luke had to do community service. Luke resorted to sofa surfing, but then ended up roughing it in a tent in Stockport town centre. Luke again fell in with a bad crowd, thieving from cars. He was caught and locked up for 11 days. He was then released and brought back to Manchester court where he was given bail.
This experience really scared Luke and the turning point for him was when his mother and 17-year-old brother offered to re-build their broken relationships with him. Chelwood Foodbank Plus have encouraged him to stay on the straight and narrow with ongoing help and support and sign posting to other services.
Chelwood Foodbank said: “There are many ‘Lukes’ out there, it just takes somebody to listen and give a little time to them, not just food and clothing.”
If you’d like to help us to give more people a hand up just like Luke then DONATE TODAY to make a real difference to the people in your area.