Bringing Some Joy to Manchester’s Homeless

Special time for us all

Lifeshare’s Christmas Project has been running for many years and we awarded them a grant to fund all the meals on Christmas Eve day. Ellen Rowshanzamir told us how the Christmas Project 2023 helped the homeless in Manchester.

“Christmas, the season of joy and celebration, often brings warmth and togetherness to many. However, for those without a home or family, the festive season can be a stark reminder of their struggles. In Greater Manchester, amidst the glittering lights and cheerful gatherings, there lies a population in need, seeking solace and support.

Enter Lifeshare, Manchester’s oldest homeless charity, dedicated to providing essential aid and care to those experiencing homelessness. This last Christmas, Lifeshare embarked on its most ambitious project yet supported by our funders, staff and volunteers, and of course our homeless guests.

Let’s look at the heart of our project.

From the 23rd to the 29th of December 2023, Lifeshare’s doors remained open, offering respite and warmth to those who needed it most. The scale of our Christmas provision was unprecedented, catering to the diverse needs of our guests with unwavering dedication.

volunteering is great fun

The numbers tell the story.

  • Guests Attended: 1547
  • Meals Served: 3340
  • Clothes Distributed: 1411
  • Sleeping Bags Provided: 48
  • Showers Taken: 62
  • Haircuts Given: 69

Throughout the week, 430 incredible volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that every individual who walked through our doors felt valued, cared for and supported.

Volunteering is extremely challenging but also wonderfully rewarding.

“It has been fantastic to volunteer with Lifeshare this Christmas. What a wonderful organisation, providing support throughout the year.”

This is feedback we got from HM Prison Service. “The Christmas project is brilliant as it’s the worst time of year if you’re homeless, mentally or physically ill, have no family or when Christmas brings back bad family memories.”

Beyond the basic necessities, Lifeshare offered a holistic approach to support. We provided computer access for various needs, from housing applications to job searches. Additionally, our guests had access to essential healthcare services, including optometry, veterinary care for their beloved pets, and medical consultations. Moreover, we didn’t forget the importance of mental well-being, offering entertainment and recreational activities to lift spirits and foster a sense of community.

“I feel safe”

What did our guests have to say?

 “Lifeshare at Christmas is always a good laugh. It’s nice to have good scran and not have to worry about where my next meal is coming from. I feel safe here and that they actually care about us.”

“They say there’s no place like home – nah, there’s no place like Lifeshare.”

The size of the homelessness challenge is huge and should be a high priority for us all. Lifeshare focuses on the practical, what is needed to help and make the lives of the homeless in Manchester that much better. We are proud to be associated with their work.