I've been in place as CEO of the Booth Centre for about six months now, and the time has flown! I'd like to start by saying the organisation is as impressive as I expected, having worked closely with the Centre in my previous roles. In fact, it's even better. My focus has been to build on the great work and outcomes currently delivered at the Centre and further enhance its strong reputation in the sector. We’ve been focusing on key areas to ensure the Centre is making a real difference for those who visit, such as:
We receive a grant from Manchester City Council to support our work preventing homelessness and rough sleeping, through holistic person-centred support. We’ve been reviewing this project to ensure our services are aligned with the needs of our community and the Council’s strategies. We're excited to explore new ways of working to keep the Centre relevant and progressive.
The "heart of the centre" :
Our café and wellbeing centre is open five days a week, and is a vital part of the Centre. We are able to offer people who get involved in our sessions a chance to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch in a sociable environment. We're looking to review and redesign this space alongside staff, volunteers and people who visit the Centre. We're visiting some of the best kitchens in similar centres in the region to gather ideas – watch this space!
Organisational Development :
We’re reviewing a whole host of areas to ensure our service is as effective as possible including; processes, staff wellbeing, governance and reporting. Staff wellbeing is a key priority. If our staff are happy, our visitors are.
We’ve been strengthening our governance by recruiting new board members and introducing a new sub-committee made up of volunteers and people who visit the centre. They'll be able to support the trustees with important decisions to ensure people affected by homelessness have their voices heard.
Refreshed activities programme :
The Centre works best as a warm and sociable environment to help combat the sense of social isolation people often feel. Activities have always and will always be an important part of the Booth Centre’s DNA. As we move on from the restrictions of the pandemic, we're keen to work with our visitors to really maximise our offer and we are growing our activities programme as part of this.
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the fantastic community of people that make up the Booth Centre over the past six months – including visitors, volunteers, staff, supporters and partners. As ever, we’re committed to working in partnership to achieve lasting change for those affected by homelessness – here’s looking forward to what we can accomplish together!