Wigan charity to raise £175k to buy its current site

Brick by Brick gala
Brick by Brick gala

A Wigan homeless charity is raising money to save its most successful site after the landlord told the volunteers the building could be sold.

The Brick is hoping to generate £175,000 to buy its ‘Brick Works’ site on Hodson Street, the future of which came under question when the landlord voiced plans to sell the building.
In a desperate bid to raise the considerable sum, The Brick bosses sprang into action, hosting a fundraising gala with some of the borough’s most prominent organisations - generating £42,000 in one evening.

Held at the DW stadium, the gala was attended by many local businesses and supporters, including Wigan Athletic CEO Jonathan Jackson who took to the stage to talk passionately about why the club has chosen The Brick as their charity for two years running.

Mr Jackson also pledged to raise £100,000 for the charity over the coming year and Wigan Athletic’s First Team donated £10,000 on the evening.

One of the charity’s clients, Scott Horne, spoke at the gala to thank the charity for their help and support.

“I was living with my dog in a tent before I found The Brick,” he said. “Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for all you’ve done for me.”

Alongside financial donations, businesses also pledged their time and skills to assist the charity over the coming months, with various fundraising events in the pipeline.

Louise Green, Operations Director at The Brick, said: “It was a truly fantastic evening. We were delighted to see such huge support from the local community as we continue to work to provide a place of shelter and safety to the people of Wigan.

“To see so many businesses and individuals get behind us and come together to raise this vital money for our building is just amazing.

“Thanks again to Jonathan Jackson and Wigan Athletic for their generous donation of £10,000 to kick off the campaign.”

The Brick Works was set up in 2014, in order to provide a pathway into employment, training and education for those people who have been long-term unemployed.

Clients can learn woodworking, re-upholstering, bike maintenance, upcycling and catering skills as well as gaining qualifications.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “We, of course, want to safeguard this facility and the fabulous work that goes on there so we would hope to buy the Brick Works for around £175,000 plus costs.

“The landlord has stated his preference for selling to us if we can raise the necessary funding.

“The Brick Works really works and we want to continue this work so that those people transitioning through homelessness have real, true options to move into independent living and to become valuable members in their community.”