Manchester City Council

Christmas Markets to give helping hand to homeless

Collections for the Big Change homeless fund will be at Manchester’s Christmas Markets for the first time, and visitors will be able to offer their support to help homeless people this festive season.

The yellow collection tins will be placed around the markets until they close on Wednesday, 20 December (Thurs 21 December on Albert Square), and look out for volunteers from the homeless accommodation provider Riverside and other members of the Manchester Homeless Partnership including the Council who will also help collect donations from this weekend.

The Big Change campaign is a central fund for more than 20 charities, with support from Manchester City Council and CityCo, which has helped hundreds of people move their lives forwards and begin to build an independent life away from the streets.

The Big Change fund supports individuals who are homeless by paying for items they need from a deposit for a home to clothes for a job interview, furnishing for a new flat, or travel costs.

The fund has already collected £120,000 in donations and supported 704 people through grants. Donations can also be made online at www.bigchangemcr.co.uk where you can also find out more about the Fund's work.

Eleanor Watts, Chair of the Big Change Fund, said: “Christmas can be a particularly challenging time for people who have lost their home and the support we provide during the season has a hugely positive impact on people’s lives.

“It’s fantastic that the Christmas Markets are doing their bit for the Big Change Fund this year, and I would also like to thank the many volunteers who are giving their time to support homelessness this festive season.”

Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We know people are concerned about the plight of people who are homeless and it's a concern we share and are working hard to address. Helping people to move forwards is not just about putting a roof over their heads, it's also about giving them the help and support to address issues which have contributed to them finding themselves without a home in the first place and helping them make positive changes to their lives.

"Any cash which kind-hearted visitors to the Christmas Markets can spare will be one of the greatest gifts they can give this Christmas and will be spent on helping to rebuild lives and ending homelessness."

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