Before COVID-19 struck, Barnabus ran an early morning Rough Sleeper Respite service every day from 7am to 10am before the start of our usual drop-in.  We offered a warm welcome at the Beacon; hot shower, change of clothes, hearty breakfast and somewhere to stay for a few hours.

Unfortunately, social distancing measures meant that instead of the usual 20 people we would see in the early morning, now only a few could come in at a time. To support our friends on the streets, we needed to think outside of the box…

A joint effort

As winter approached, we wanted to do something to help those who would previously engage with us for support offered at The Beacon. We quickly realised that a number of similar charities in Manchester also had to pause their efforts due to the social distancing measures. This meant there was a huge demand for people who were rough sleeping and needed early morning support.

We had an idea. If we could provide an indoor breakfast service, big enough to cope with social distancing measures, while offering some respite from the cold, we could support anyone sleeping rough in the city.

After speaking to other local charities, we’ve launched a collaborative breakfast project with Lifeshare, Audacious Foundation and Manchester Mind. Supported by Manchester City Council, it’s based at the Methodist Central Hall on Oldham street and takes place daily.

The breakfast project

In just 3 weeks, we’ve served over 300 breakfasts. It’s been an incredible effort from everyone involved, and a real testament to the Manchester Homelessness Partnership working. We couldn’t have done it without our volunteers and the support we get from the council.  

Not only can we help people practically with breakfast and essential clothing and toiletries, we can signpost people for further support depending on individual circumstances. Volunteers from the charity MIND also look out and support those who are struggling with their mental health.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved - and, if you’d like to support us, visit our website. Every little bit really does help people without a home this winter.