A very happy new year from all of us at the Booth Centre!
We’d like to wish our visitors, staff, supporters, volunteers, partners a very happy new year. Thank you all for your support during 2021, it was a tough year but knowing our community was there for us made all the difference. Here's to a better 2022!
Our week of Christmas celebrations was able to go ahead (albeit with extra measures in place to ensure we could welcome people safely).
Throughout the week we had Christmas dinners, art activities, visits from Santa, presents, Christmas quizzes and more. It is a real privilege to be able to spend this time of year with our visitors and create possibilities for togetherness and festive cheer.
We went into the new year remaining open and offering breakfasts, hot lunches and a support hub, running a slightly reduced service taking into account new government guidance.
Thank you for helping us create new chances!
Our Big Give Christmas Challenge was a huge success, raising an amazing £44,565 including Gift Aid! Your donations are making a huge difference to the lives of our visitors, from helping people move into a safe home, to securing employment, to taking part in activities or volunteering.
You can read more about how these funds are helping here.
Thank you so much to everyone who gave to our Big Give Christmas Challenge, set up a regular gift, donated essential items or supported us in any way over the festive season. Your support means so much to everyone here at the Booth Centre.
We’re extremely excited to announce that performers from The Booth Centre will return to The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre this September, in the drama group’s first public performances since the start of the pandemic.
The group is run in partnership with The Edge Theatre in Chorlton, with regular drama workshops for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Together we launched The Booth Centre Theatre Company – a unique company producing high-quality theatre, and offering people the chance to get involved in all aspects of running a theatre company.
These drama workshops and performances are an integral part of our service, and offer people a chance to build their confidence and most importantly have fun! Studies have shown that creativity in everyday life increases our overall sense of wellbeing, and we recognise the importance of offering high-quality and meaningful activities. The workshops empower people to try new things, make friends and showcase their talents.
"in the drama group it feels like I am with my family" - Mohammed
The upcoming performance Air is set in the year 2121 when Dougal, a cog tightener on the AIR machine, goes to visit his computer uploaded Gran to learn about the place they called Manchester.
Thursday 9th September 2021 at 7.30pm
Friday 10th September 2021 at 3pm
Saturday 11th September at 3pm
Find more information about the performances and book tickets here.
The Booth Centre has remained open throughout the pandemic, providing essential support and a safe place for people to share their experiences and learn from each other. We have once again redesigned our service to react to the changing landscape of COVID-19.
From the beginning of June, we were able to stop operating in two service ‘bubbles’ so that people coming into the centre can now access both upstairs and downstairs in our building. Everyone has been happy to be able to see each other again, as the ‘bubbles’ meant some people hadn’t crossed paths in months! More people are now able to have breakfast and lunch in our café and access the activities taking place in the Centre.
As well as activities such as gardening, art and drama, we are continuing to support people with accommodation referrals, resettlement applications, qualifications and more. As always, all of this is achieved in partnership with people who attend the centre – who contribute their skills and experience to help us strive for best practice. See the poster below for full details of the current service.
Rigorous COVID-19 measures remain in place to keep our community safe – most people are continuing to wear masks and the Centre is very well ventilated with our double veranda doors opening from our café to our lovely, award-winning garden.
The GP van from the Urban Village Medical Practice visits each Thursday morning so people are able to see the nurse and get their COVID-19 vaccinations. We haven't returned to people queuing up for food, but have retained our table service as it's creating such a nice, relaxed café atmosphere that people are really enjoying, after so long in isolation, as well as helping to retain some social distancing.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our wonderful supporters – you’re helping us to continue our important work during this difficult time.
As part of this year's Spirit of Manchester Festival hosted by Manchester Community Central, we invite you to come and join us for a day of art, creativity and fun on 26th September.
We will be showcasing the excellent work produced by people who use the Booth Centre. You will be able to see some fabulous art work, video productions and some live performances from our opera group.
Refreshments will be provided so please come along, have a look at our new premises and see what we have been up to.
RSVP to: email@example.com
Date: Friday 26th September
Venue: The Booth Centre, Edward Holt House, Pimblett Street, Manchester M3 1FU
Swap the rush hour for an hour of musical entertainment from Streetwise Opera’s Manchester performers; let our songs inspire you for the rest of the week!
Watch uplifting performances from people who’ve been empowered by singing and acting together in weekly workshops at the Booth Centre and the Methodist Central Hall. There’s a taste of Verdi’s Macbeth, the world premiere of a very special new song by Stef Connor (Streetwise Opera's Composer in Residence) and other musical treats in store.
We hope you will join us for this short, informal evening in the lovely refurbished Library – our groups are all about having fun and trying new things and that’s what this evening is about too!
'Everyone was talking about the passion and power of the performance afterwards'
‘It really improved my confidence, singing in front of a group’
Tickets: Free, but space is limited to 50 people so reserve your seat now (includes a free soft drink)
6-7pm (doors open at 5:30pm)
Manchester Central Library, St Peters Square, City Centre, M2 5PD
Click here to reserve your space online.
Or call Streetwise Opera on 0207 730 9551 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Answer to Everything is an interactive film and live opera event set in a conference.
At first smarmy compere Steve Hedges keeps the delegates united and corporate confidence appears sky high, but as music gradually engulfs the business rhetoric his world begins to fall apart. Do they really have ‘the answer to everything’?
Moving between stage and screen, the audience is invited to take part as conference delegates in this cheeky, satirical look at big business.
Skilfully mixing performances from Streetwise Opera’s homeless and ex-homeless performers with a handful of professionals including renowned soprano Elizabeth Watts, this rich and characterful 70-minute experience features new commissions by Gavin Bryars, Orlando Gough, Emily Hall, Anna Meredith and Duncan Ward with existing music by Britten, Handel, Gounod, Schumann and Vivaldi.
This is a live performance with optional audience participation; come dressed in your finest business-wear, collect your lanyard and conference pack from the Welcome Desk and get ready to ‘break out’.
Monday 10th February 2014, 18:00-19:30
70 Oxford Street
Manchester M1 5NH
£3 Live Wire Members
Buy tickets - On sale from the Cornerhouse box office.
Tomorrow the Booth Centre's Streetwise Opera singing group will be travelling to London to perform at the British Film Institute on the South Bank in the premiere of The Answer to Everything. This is the culmination of two years of devising, recording, filming and rehearsing.
To coincide with the premiere, celebrated soprano (and Patron of Streetwise Opera) Elizabeth Watts, Duncan Ward and The Sacconi Quartet have generously allowed Streetwise Opera to release their recording of 'Lascia Ch'io Pianga' from Handel's Rinaldo as a single to raise funds. The track appears in a section of The Answer to Everything and also features Streetwise Opera singers from Manchester and Nottingham singing a chorus part devised by Duncan Ward. This is Streetwise Opera's first commercial release.
You can download the track for just £0.79 - all proceeds will go to help fund Streetwise's work at the Booth
Centre and around the country.
If you can't get to London to see the performance then we hope you'll download the single and listen to this unique track, which will give you just a flavour of the unique opportunity the Booth Centre gives homeless people to take part in professional opera singing with all the benefits of increased confidence, and self esteem that it brings.
I LIVE TEMPORARY is a digital installation created by homeless people from the Booth Centre, in collaboration with experimental arts organisation, arthur+martha.
Customised postcards, sound recordings and an epic tweet poem carry tiny stories, little snatches of homeless people’s lives. These voices are often unheard, but they have insight to offer everyone. Combining text, sound and image, I LIVE TEMPORARY is a report from life outside the borders of comfort and acceptance. Funny, sad, angry, resigned - here are all the human colours.
arthur+martha works with people who are pushed to the margins of society – older people in hospital, excluded school pupils, holocaust survivors and many others.
Date and time: Friday 11th May, 2 – 4pm
Venue: The Egg, University of Salford, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 2HE
Exhibition general opening times:
Open: Friday 11th May - Friday 1st June. Times will vary.
Venue: The Egg, University of Salford, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 2HE
Full details about the event are available on the University of Salford Arts Events website.
We recently took part in the Peripheral Vision project in conjunction with the Workers' Educational Association, which used digital media and visits to cultural venues in Manchester to help people improve their creative film, art and photography skills. Culminating in a film festival and a book launch, this project encouraged those on the periphery to challenge others’ vision of society today.
Here are some of the films created by the people that took part in the project:
And this video gives some more information about the project and how people responded to it:
We had great fun taking part in this initiative and got a lot out of it! For more information about the project please visit the Peripheral Vision website.
On Friday 25th November 35 people decided to brave the cold weather and sleep outside Manchester Cathedral to raise money for the Booth Centre.
The event raised over £5,000, which will make an immediate difference to the work the centre can do. Amanda Croome, manager of the Booth Centre said "The number of homeless people in Manchester has increased recently and the Booth Centre is doing everything it can to ensure that as few people as possible end up rough sleeping, and those that do are able to get off the streets as quickly as possible. This boost to our funds will make a real difference to our work."
Although the event only gave a glimpse of what life on the streets is like, we wanted to make sure that those participating understood the reality of sleeping rough. "We asked two people who have slept rough in the past to give everyone taking part a true picture of what it is really like to sleep out, how dangerous and demoralising it is and also to explain how they have rebuilt their lives with help from the Booth Centre."
Among those taking part in the event was Jill Southern, who works at St Thomas Primary School in Leigh. "It was a great experience. I did get a couple of hours sleep, but I'm lucky enough to be able to come home to a warm house and a cosy bed afterwards. The evening really made me appreciate what I've got."
A huge thank you to everyone that took part and made this event such a success! For photos of the event please see our facebook page.