Thanks to the generosity of local shops, young volunteers with City Year Greater Manchester have turned money donated by the charity’s staff from their Christmas activity fund into over £100 worth of items for homeless charity Mustard Tree. In an Apprentice-style challenge, they were given two hours to negotiate as many essentials for those living on the streets, in hostels or temporary accommodation, as they could. Stall holders in the Northern Quarter, Market Street and Oldham Street got behind the initiative, contributing everything from blankets, scarves and socks to camping mats.
The volunteers started out with a fund of £40 but only spent £20. The remaining amount will also be given to Mustard Tree to go towards food for the homeless.
Rekha Patel-Harrison, Head of Site at City Year Greater Manchester, said: “We wanted to put some of the Christmas money to good use. A member of staff came up with the Apprentice idea and our volunteers got right behind it. We couldn’t believe it when they came back from the challenge, laden down with so many things. It was wonderful to see the generosity of local retailers and I’d like to sincerely thank all those who took part.”
Grace Fajebe, age 20, said: “I encouraged one of my team-mates to talk to a market owner and he gave us a beautiful coat. When we asked him for his name for recognition he said it was fine.”
Another volunteer, Shannon Danino, age 19, exclaimed of another generous trader: “He literally just kept piling the clothes on!”
Soraya Sheikh-Ambrose, Communications Manager at Mustard Tree, said: ”We would like to thank everyone at City Year Greater Manchester for choosing to collect items for Mustard Tree clients. We value every offer of support and every donation, being acutely aware that we couldn’t continue to make a difference in the lives of those who come to us for help without the partnership of like-minded people”.