On Friday, 12 December 2014, the Manchester Commercial team collaborated with Lifeshare, a local charity that provides and signposts a range of practical, social and medical services to homeless and vulnerable people in Manchester and Salford.
The team spent the day at the Charter Street Ragged School, Dantzic Street, a ten minute walk from Manchester City Centre. From this location the charity offers food and clothing from its donated supplies in addition to regularly cooking, entertaining and providing temporary clinics for its clients.
The charity also runs a range of other initiatives, including a weekend breakfast club, serving a hot breakfast every Saturday and Sunday and the Christmas Project, which provides an ‘open house’ offering warmth, company, food, support and entertainment.
Although Lifeshare does receive some funding for its office-based work, other project work relies heavily on public donations, whether monetary, in the form of supplies or time.
The team identified Lifeshare as clearly providing a vital service for underprivileged and marginalised people, whilst relying on limited resources. It therefore felt compelled to add value to the work of the charity through volunteering at the Charter Street Ragged School, to organise food and clothing donations and spruce up the amenities with a spot of DIY. Naturally, this provided the perfect opportunity for some colleagues to satisfy their inclinations to sort, categorise and arrange, whilst allowing others to don fetching boiler suits and show off their painting skills.
The group thoroughly enjoyed its time at the Dantzic Street facilities, in particular listening to Judith Vickers, Lifeshare’s team leader who has worked with the charity for ten years. Judith gave an inspiring account of the charity’s clients, the troubles they face, the charity’s dedicated people and the work they undertake.
The team was delighted to offer its support to Lifeshare and learn about how its important work positively affects the lives of its clients.