The Manchester Sleepout is back for its 6th year running in 2016! On Friday 4th November hundreds of people will sleep out to highlight some of the hardships that homeless people face every single night.
This year some famous Manchester faces will move out of their comfort zones and take on the challenge of sleeping out for the night to help raise funds for the work of the Booth Centre, a day centre in the city offering support to the growing number of homeless people on our streets. ‘Team Vital’ will include well known stars from the world of sport and TV including boxer Jamie Moore, Coronation Street star Katie McGlynn, and past and present Hollyoaks actors Jamie Lomas, Anthony Quinlan and Hollie Jay Bowes. Manchester based house DJ, EMA, will also be joining the group sleeping out, all hoping to raise over £1,000 to help those who have experienced homelessness.
The annual event, taking place at Manchester Cathedral in November, does not claim to mimic what it must be like to be sleeping rough, but attempts instead to raise awareness of some of the difficulties facing people on the streets.
The Manchester Sleepout will raise funds to help the Booth Centre to continue to bring about positive change in the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and help them plan for and realise a better future.
You can donate to the team’s fundraising page at: www.justgiving.com/TeamVitalSleepout
Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas, after a recent visit to the Booth Centre, said:
“I am honoured to be taking part in The Manchester Sleepout as part of ‘Team Vital’, to raise awareness and funding for the work of the Booth Centre. Nobody should have to be homeless and living on the streets in this day and age. Everybody has their own story as to where they are in life and we should all do what we can to help one another and especially those who may have fallen on hard times.”
Boxer Jamie Moore, having seen the work of the Booth Centre first hand, said:
"The Booth Centre is doing great things for the homeless community and I'd love to try and help them as much as I possibly can. They need all the help they can in order to be in the position where they can provide support and practical advice to people who are homeless or at risk. I'm looking forward to doing The Manchester Sleepout in Nov (on my birthday!) to help raise awareness of the struggles homeless people go through on a daily basis.”
Amy Hinks, Development Manager at the Booth Centre, said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Team Vital to The Manchester Sleepout this year! It’s great to know that they want to do something practical to help people facing crisis close to home. The Sleepout gives us a small glimpse of what people face night after night, hopefully meaning we can be more compassionate to those in our community who need our help. Thank you to everyone taking part this year, we really appreciate your support!”
Those interested in joining the Sleepout for the Booth Centre can register online here or by contacting the centre on 0161 835 2499.
Following a fruitful honey harvest, The Printworks together with the Hard Rock Cafe Manchester’s ‘Live From The Hive’ has raised an incredible £2,000 from sales of over 200 jars of honey. The money has this week been donated to two local Manchester charities, Forever Manchester and Booth Centre who have each received a charitable donation of £1,000. ‘Live From The Hive’ honey is made by the city’s hardest-working bees on top of the Printworks.
Forever Manchester supports community-based activity across Greater Manchester, enriching the lives of people in the city through community activities and projects. The Booth Centre works tirelessly to help the homeless rebuild their lives and plan for a brighter future. Both charities were presented with their cheques from the 2015 honey harvest on the Printworks rooftop earlier this week.
The Printworks’ rooftop garden launched in partnership with Hard Rock Cafe Manchester in 2012. Now, the roof is home to over 320,000 bees across four hives, an allotment, herb garden and orchard. Two staff, Emma Livingstone from Hard Rock Cafe and Fred Booth from The Printworks are fully qualified Apiarists who nurture and tend to the bees on a weekly basis.
Thanks to all the teams who took part in this year's Great Manchester Run in support of the Booth Centre. We saw a record number of runners take part in the 2016 challenge raising funds towards the work of the centre, including over 200 staff members from media group Dentsu Aegis Network. A fantastic total of over £26,000 was raised by runners from across the Network’s brands of Carat, iProspect, Vizeum, Fetch, Amplifi and Amnet.
For Dentsu Aegis Network Manchester, the run provided a fantastic opportunity to leverage the business’ competitive spirit to even greater effect by supporting the Booth Centre in their ambition to drive positive change in the lives of Manchester’s homeless. The money raised will help fund the employment support programme at the Booth Centre.
Elliot Muscant, Managing Partner of Dentsu Aegis Network, North said:
“It was overwhelming to see so many colleagues, clients, media partners, and their friends and family, challenge themselves to help raise money for the Booth Centre. I am delighted that we have managed to make a substantial contribution to a charity that makes such a big difference to those that need support to break out of the cycle of homelessness. It’s a bonus that so many people were encouraged to run for the first time – some may even make it a habit.”
Amy Hinks, Development Manager at Booth Centre said:
“We are so grateful to the amazing staff from Dentsu Aegis Network for coming together to raise vital funds for the Booth Centre as part of this year's Great Manchester Run! We have never had so many people run to support us like this. Everyone was so enthusiastic about wanting to do something practical to help homeless people in Manchester. The funds raised will make a huge difference to our employability programme which helps people with experience of homelessness get back into employment, training or voluntary work within the community. Their support will be life changing for so many, we can't thank them enough!”
The Booth Centre had a team of volunteers running from the centre, some having experienced homelessness very recently. Our team were new to running before joining the Dentsu Aegis staff in May, but we're pleased to report they're still going strong and hope to start a Booth Centre running club! Watch this space for next year!
Homeless people in Greater Manchester and Stockport have handmade the first history of British homelessness, which will debut at the Houses of Parliament next week.
Ann Coffey, MP for Stockport, and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, will open the exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall of the House of Commons at 3pm on May 24, 2016. The exhibition will be on display in Parliament for the rest of the week and then go on to public exhibition at the Southbank Festival of Love, 9 July-18 September and will tour venues in NW England.
The Homeless Library has been made by local homeless people and opens up previously untold stories of the lives of homeless people through interviews, artworks, poems and handmade books. This unique and unprecedented history of British homelessness has been devised by arts organisation arthur+martha.
Ms Coffey said:
"This project is both a piece of history and an art piece. I don't think I've ever come across anything like it before. It's beautiful. These are fascinating stories that need to be heard. Being heard is something that everybody needs, it makes us a society. Maybe these books are something we can all learn from - and maybe we can help the storytellers."
Many homeless people live and die as ‘invisibles’. When they die their very existence sometimes leaves no mark. This project opens up an untold chronicle, that exists off the pages of official history books.
Instead, it is a history based on conversations: people's descriptions of their own lives, as told by contemporary homeless people and also older people who witnessed homelessness from the 1930s onwards. Along with interviews, there are artworks and poems. Many people involved found that these discussions and making the artworks and poems were a transformative experience.
Each book in the Library is handmade - often recycling secondhand books, which were customised and handwritten. Recycled secondhand books make the point that homeless history has been crowded out by other voices.
The Homeless Library is supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund and partnered with the Booth Centre, The Wellspring, and Bury Art Museum. Alongside photos of the handwritten books, you can read the interviews at The Homeless Library page on Facebook and blogspot, see addresses below.
co-directors: Lois Blackburn & Philip Davenport
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/homelesslibrary
Mowgli Street Food joined Manchester’s busy restaurant scene last summer as part of the new look Corn Exchange in the city centre. As well as bringing great value, fresh and edgy Indian small plate recipes to the city, owner Nisha Katona was keen to really make a positive difference in the local community through her business.
Following a visit to Manchester’s Booth Centre, a day centre supporting homeless people and with concern for the growing number of people sleeping rough in the city, Nisha vowed to do something to help. Nisha and Mowgli Street Food are now proud to be the first restaurant partner in the Booth Centre’s Food for Change initiative. An optional donation of £1 added to each bill is helping to raise vital funds to go towards the centre’s work in supporting people to move off the streets and realise a more positive future. In just 3 months, the scheme has contributed over £7,000 towards the Booth Centre’s services. In addition, restaurant staff will give their time to volunteer at the centre and collect essential items of food and toiletries.
The Booth Centre provides advice to find accommodation, education, training and help to secure employment, free healthy meals, support in tackling issues with health and addiction, and creative activities to boost confidence and self-esteem. Amanda Croome, CEO of the Booth Centre said:
“We are now seeing up to 100 people a day coming to us for support, a huge increase in the last 12 months. The money raised by Mowgli is helping us to continue to offer life-saving support for people in our city who find themselves forced to sleep rough, whether it be emergency help like food and showers, or the more long term support and advice to move off the streets. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with such a passionate local business whose staff are keen to really get involved with the work of centre. We can’t thank them enough for what they’re doing and would encourage other restaurants interested in supporting our Food for Change initiative to get in touch.”
Entrepreneur, Food for Change Ambassador and author, Nisha said:
“When choosing a charity to support, it is critical that my staff feel enthusiasm and motivated. We often visit the Booth Centre and are constantly blown away by the incredible work they do to change lives. As a barrister, my clients were often homeless and I know first-hand how homelessness is often seen as self-inflicted and unworthy. The Booth Centre is not a hand out organisation: they fundamentally turn lives around by retraining and equipping people to find their feet. The idea of the optional addition to the bill came to me when I ate out in London recently; their generous service charges are automatically added on even if service has been diabolical. It means customers have to engage a bit of brain before paying the bill. There is no reason why we should not do the same if that small addition actually takes a life in our local community and makes it whole again.“
On Wednesday 4th May 7pm Nisha Katona will discuss the story behind Mowgli at Waterstones Deansgate, whilst cooking some of the restaurant's favourite recipes, with an audience Q&A and book signing for Nisha's wonderful first book Pimp My Rice. Tickets £4, available on www.waterstones.com/events or 0161 837 3000
A leading Manchester business is relying on the sporting enthusiasm of its employees to help tackle the city's growing homeless problem.
Around 200 runners will represent global media and digital marketing communications company Dentsu Aegis Network Manchester in the Great Manchester Run on Sunday, May 22, aiming to raise more than £20,000 in sponsorship.
The donations will help fund the employment support programme at the Booth Centre.
Dentsu Aegis has its Manchester offices in Portland Street by the start line for the 10k run which each year continues to attract a large number of businesses for the Great Manchester Run Business Challenge. Dentsu Aegis has 400 staff in Manchester working across brands such as Carat, iProspect, Vizeum, Fetch, Amplifi and Amnet, making it the largest media and communications agency outside London.
Running for the Dentsu team will be staff, friends, family, clients and suppliers, the company realising that one of Manchester's biggest sporting occasions is an opportunity to bring everyone together. A team of staff and volunteers from the Booth Centre will run alongside their corporate partners, aiming to boost the funds raised.
> Show your support and sponsor Team BC for their 10k run
Amanda Croome, CEO of the Booth Centre, said: "We're delighted to be supported by over 200 staff from Dentsu Aegis Network in this year's Great Manchester Run. This is the most people we've ever had running in support of our work! We're here to bring about positive change in the lives of homeless people, and to help them plan for and realise a better future. The problem of homelessness in Manchester is worse than ever, so this support is so vital.
"The funds raised by Dentsu Aegis Network will go towards helping hundreds of people with experience of homelessness to access training, education and support to find employment which will help them to build a life away from the streets and stay off the streets in the long term. We can't thank the staff enough for their commitment to helping change lives in our community."
> Sign up to take part in the Great Manchester Run
Booth Centre Streetwise Opera performers were proud to be part of a world premiere landmark opera production of 'The Passion' over Easter weekend! If you missed out on tickets you can still see the full opera below which was televised on BBC Four.
Thank you to everyone who came along and supported the performers who worked so hard and did a fantastic job! Huge thanks also to the Streetwise Opera team for making it all happen. See some of the fantastic media coverage and videos below, and let us know what you think.
Media coverage of The Passion
BBC Television Breakfast - 26th March
BBC Arts Online - Height of Passion: How Manchester performers are bringing Bach up to date - 23rd March
Manchester Evening News - Watch: The choir made up of former homeless people now performing Bach for Easter - 25th March
The Big Issue - The Passion: From the streets to the stage with Streetwise Opera and The Sixteen - 21st March
Review - Manchester Confidential - 30th March 2016
The Times - five star review - 28th March
The Guardian - four star review - 28th March
The Stage - four star review - 27th March
We're proud to work in partnership with many different organisations and individuals who bring specialist skills to the Booth Centre as part of our varied activities and employment support programme. At the moment we're working with arthur + martha on The Homeless Library project. Each week people who visit the Booth Centre with experience of homelessness get the chance to tell their stories through creative writing and arts workshops.
People have really been enjoying the opportunity to express themselves, explore their creative sides and learn new skills. This week's workshop uncovered some honest accounts about the dangerous use of legal highs in prison and previous sessions have unearthed feelings about the sheer loneliness and isolation of being homeless.
Read more on The Homeless Library blog here.
It's been great to see all the fabulous new restaurants that have opened in the newly refurbished Corn Exchange in Manchester city centre recently.
We were lucky enough to receive a visit from Nisha Katona, owner of Indian street food restaurant Mowgli before Christmas. Nisha and her team at the Corn Exchange restaurant have since decided to show their support for homeless people in Manchester by adopting the Booth Centre to benefit from their fundraising. An optional £1 donation will be added to each final bill, this will add up and really make a difference to our work helping people to move off the streets and resettle in the community.
Nisha said: "We're here, at the centre of the community, and we should recognise that and give our community more than just food".
We're looking forward to working more closely with the team at Mowgli and would like to thank them for their support.
> Check out what's on offer at Mowgli (we recommend the Office Worker's Tiffin!)
'Tis the season
With all the hype of Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching, we're excited to welcome #GivingTuesday! Tuesday 1st December is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving and an opportunity to come together to show the world why it's good to give.
Whether it's making a donation, volunteering your time, or just spreading the word about causes close to your heart. We hope you'll join us on #GivingTuesday and share the hash tag on social media with your friends.
Here are a few things you could do on #GivingTuesday to help homeless people in our city:
> Donate to our Christmas Appeal - help us make Christmas a more enjoyable time for people who visit the Booth Centre
> Buy a gift from our Christmas Wish List - for as little as £2, you can buy a gift for a homeless person which will be delivered directly to the centre
> Book tickets to see our Christmas Pantomime - enjoy a festive outing and support the cast and crew of 'It's Behind You!', not to be missed!
Your support will enable us to help more people like Dave. Read Dave's story.