As some adjust to new routines of working from home and abiding by social distancing, we also need to think about the people who aren’t lucky enough to have a home. Our friends at the Booth Centre do an outstanding job in helping support the homeless community in and around central Manchester. But during these unprecedented times that we all face, they too have to deal with extra added pressures that this virus has brought. So at House-on-the-Hill it only felt right to support the centre as it battles on two fronts. So today we made a donation.
Find out more on how to donate here
Miriam from the Booth Centre very kindly shared with us some of the great services they have been providing for the vulnerable people of Manchester.
I also want to take the opportunity to share with you the actions that we have taken since the start of this outbreak, and therefore what your donation will be helping support. The spread of COVID19 presents unique challenges for people that come to the Booth Centre. Social distancing and self-isolation are difficult for people that are in shared accommodation, are rough sleeping or reliant on services for food and well-being. But these people are most at risk from the virus, due to underlying health conditions and compromised immune systems.
We continue to operate a limited service from our garden, offering hot drinks and a meal to take away and a free texting service that gives daily support and a contact for people in emergencies. We are also delivering weekly welfare phone calls (to approx. 150 people) ensure that everyone has the right guidance and are supported to act on it. We are also working alongside Manchester City Council and other charity partners to ensure people that are homeless can access single room accommodation, and therefore adhere to the government guidelines of social distancing and self-isolation.
Furthermore, the Centre has recently launched a new virtual arts project that will facilitate remote participation by sending people arts and activity packs and running Facebook live sessions. This is so people can remain occupied and retain a sense of purpose; something that is vital for mental health and well being, social connection and self- esteem. We are aiming to replicate the social inclusion, confidence building and interaction benefits that we see through people engaging with the Booth Centre face to face, by offering activities remotely. We already know from some of the texts we are receiving from people that these activity packs are a life line, as they are on their own, battling with the effects of isolation and potentially have the added challenge of drug and/or alcohol withdrawal.
I can’t deny that this has been a very challenging time for both us as a team and as individuals. However, our team are as committed as ever to maintain a good level of support for our community that is in line with government guidelines, for as long as possible. I am so proud of all my colleagues who never fail to amaze me with their agility, flexibility and creativeness.