When Life Gives You Lemons….


by Ellie Murphy

Despite our lively Reach Out To The Community Shop being closed for over three weeks now, there is still an incredible amount of work being done for the community behind closed doors, due to the CO-VID 19 pandemic. As everyone knows, this has been a massive shock nationwide, however our team, volunteers and the community have demonstrated a fantastic response to the outbreak to support the homeless sector more so than ever before.

The ever-popular independent charity shop, based in Chorlton, has transformed into a full- time food bank for vulnerable individuals in and around Manchester.

It doesn’t stop there though, we are also working alongside Rev Ellie Trimble and Barnabus, other homeless charities based in Manchester, to set up a larger community food hub which also allows numerous volunteers to source and prepare hundreds of food parcels, including cooking hot meals to be distributed daily. In addition, our outreach team have received some fantastic feedback by working alongside other partnerships such as Change, Grow, Live Manchester, GMP City Centre and Manchester City Council’s Rough Sleepers Team.

The response from the local community and local organisations has been outstanding. We can appreciate that everyone has been affected in different ways since the lockdown, but with our can-do attitude and our positive approach we can definitely say that in a time like this the community really does Reach Out! From numerous food donations, cash donations, clothing for rough sleepers and appliances such as fridges and freezers all of which has been most appreciated.

Where do we go from here?

Although Manchester City Council is continuing its regular outreach to try and get people indoors –  whether that is in shelters or hotels – around Manchester, we are still in contact with many of the people we support, doing welfare checks and offering support where needed. In the meantime, we will continue to support and work alongside our partner agencies to find appropriate accommodation for them in the next coming weeks. As you can imagine there are numerous caveats that emanate when trying to house and accommodate all of rough sleepers in Manchester, that’s why our perseverance and the continued support from the community is more vital than ever.

We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has already donated and supported us through this difficult time and we still want to encourage people to donate to those in need. Donations can be dropped off at our Reach Out To The Community hub (488 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, M21 9AS), which is currently open as a food bank from 11am – 3pm Monday – Friday. As well as any cash donations to our fundraising page.

For more updates on what is happening on a daily basis at our shop and our community food hub please follow us on our Facebook page.

Stay safe,
ROC team

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