A beacon for the homeless in Manchester
New facilities mean Barnabus can now cater for more people, thanks to an Allchurches Trust grant
Barnabus is a Christian charity that works with homeless and vulnerable people in Manchester, supporting over 600 people each week by helping with their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
The charity runs the Beacon Centre, a drop in centre in the heart of Manchester that provides a place of refuge and peace, along with hot food, toilets, showers, mentoring, training, advice and referrals.
The centre was originally a domestic house, and was very limited in space, with just a domestic sized kitchen and one male and one female shower room. Barnabus urgently needed to develop the space to cater for more people and to meet their needs more effectively.
A transformational space
When Barnabus contacted us in July 2015, they had already secured a Big Lottery Grant, but needed help to raise the full amount of funding needed. We were happy to support them with a grant of £3,000.
The new facilities opened on 1st December 2015. The Beacon now includes a room that can be used for craft groups, which is a huge incentive for people to attend the centre, as well as an upgraded kitchen and dining area, where they can provide breakfasts and evening meals. On average 50 people a day visit the centre for breakfast, and another 75 visit each evening for dinner.
The Beacon also now has private shower and toilet facilities, as well as a clothes storage area, plus a newly refurbished room that will become a medical centre, with a full time nurse in residence to offer on-the-spot help to clients.
At the opening ceremony on 1st December, the Bishop of Manchester David Walker reminded visitors just how close to the streets everyone really is by talking about a lady he had met who had been a company director, married with children. After a bout of mental ill health she lost everything and found herself on the streets. The newly refurbished Beacon Centre provides a much-needed facility that will benefit hundreds of people, and society as a whole.