Our funding bid to the Big Lottery was successful and we were awarded £500,000 over the next 5 years. This enables us to build on our Activities Programme and will ensure that we can help more homeless people gain qualifications and to support more people to move on to employment, education, training or voluntary work in the community. So we are having a re-launch of our service.
Our new service launches on 4th April
The Booth Centre will be closed for a week from Monday 21st March to Friday 25th March. We'll be on hand to answer emails but nobody will be present at the Centre during this time.
The following week, from Monday 28th March to Friday 1st April, we will be holding open days to tell people about our new service from 9am to 12pm each day. Anyone can come along, and there is no need make an appointment. Staff are welcome to bring their service users or residents along if people don't want to come on their own. There will be free refreshments too.
Our new service starts on 4th April, which will feature a brand new timetable of activities.
We are also launching a new awards scheme to both encourage people to try new activities and to reward regular attendance. It is part of a programme to encourage people to improve their skills, increase their confidence and self esteem, to improve their health and to support people to move into employment, education, training or voluntary work, when they are ready. We will be inviting people's support workers to come to see them being presented with their awards, as we are keen that they see what people are acheiving and that we are working together to help people to move on.
Our old drop-in sessions are being replace by Cafe Advice, where people can come along and find out about our activities programme and sign up for sessions, use our computers to register for housing or search for jobs or get emergency advice and support to address housing, benefit, drug, alcohol or mental health problems. Specialist workers from BASH (Manchester Housing), the Homeless Mental Health Team and the Urban Village Medical Practice will continue to attend these sessions on a weekly basis. There will also be an emphasis on health and well being, including a free healthy menu, toiletries, socks and hats to help people keep their feet healthy and prevent hypothermia and/or sun stroke, depending on the time of year. As has always been the case, rough sleepers will be actively encourage to come off the streets and get support to maintain accommodation and street drinkers and drug users will be supported to reduce their consumption and to access treatment services.
New sports sessions
Our new timetable includes badminton at the Y-Club on Tuesday mornings and crown green bowling on Tuesday afternoons. These session will be great fun and no experience is needed. All the sessions are free, including travel, entry fees and refreshments.
Our Streetwise Opera group is putting on an Open Mic Night at the Manchester Museum on 30th March. Our Streetwise Opera music workshops are moving to Wednesday afternoons from 1-3pm from the start of April and we will be looking for new people to join the group. Anyone who is interested in music and/or drama or singing would really enjoy the sessions. They will be working with professional musicians from Opera North and will have the opportunity to see productions at the Lowry, free of charge.
Drama at the Royal Exchange
We have just started an exciting new three year partnership with the Royal Exchange Theatre which will give homeless people the opportunity to see plays at the theatre, gain work experience behind the scenes and build up their skills through weekly drama workshops. Two short collaborations we have run in the past showed that drama is a great way of helping people to increase their confidence, presentation skills and to get people working together in a really enjoyable way. People get a real buzz out of performing, especially in a professional theatre, and it gives them the opportunity to let the public see their talents and hear what they have to say. The groups first performances will be at the Royal Exchange and the City Art Gallery in April.
CSCS Health and Safety training
Our Monday morning Employment Workshop includes the opportunity for people to practice for their CSCS building site health and safety test. As soon as people are ready to take the test we will book them in and take them down to the test centre - all free of charge. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is thinking of going into the building trade in the future and many of our former participants are now working.
We are currently looking for volunteers who are or have been homeless who are interested in helping out at the Booth Centre for one morning or afternoon a week for 3 months. While helping to prepare and serve meals at the Centre they can gain their level 1 catering qualifcation. We pay travel expenses and will help people to move onto other volutneering or paid employment when they have completed their 3 month volunteering placement with us. Anyone who is interested should take a look at our volunteering page.
Thank you for all your support - it is helping to transform the lives of homeless people.