Wiganers urged to show festive generosity to the homeless

Generous Wigan residents and businesses are being encouraged to dig deep to help support those experiencing or at risk of homelessness as the winter weather sets in.
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The Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity’s pioneering 1000 Beds for Christmas fund-raiser is back for the third year running – and the team are on a mission to smash last year’s amount raised.

They’re hoping to raise around £30,000 to help fund 1,000 nights of accommodation for the those at risks of homelessness and rough sleeping.

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The campaign doesn't want anyone sleeping rough this ChristmasThe campaign doesn't want anyone sleeping rough this Christmas
The campaign doesn't want anyone sleeping rough this Christmas
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It’s all part of their overarching A Bed Every Night, an ongoing programme to provide emergency wrap-around support to those rough sleeping, offering guaranteed food and shelter, as well as continued support to help them get back on their feet and onto more stable accommodation.

This year, the team are once again partnering with property finance specialist Together which is supporting the campaign by generously pledging to match every donation for the first £20,000 raised.

With the ongoing cost of living crisis alongside the ever increasing demand for housing and spiralling housing costs, the financial pressure on families and individuals has rarely been higher, putting them at risk of losing their homes and a night on the streets.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “As the cold winter nights approach it is vital that we can offer a bed to anyone sleeping rough that needs one.

The 1,000 Beds for Christmas campaignThe 1,000 Beds for Christmas campaign
The 1,000 Beds for Christmas campaign
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"And with the cost-of-living crisis set to continue, more people could find themselves facing incredible difficulty to make ends meet.

"That means the safety net that A Bed Every Night gives, with its wraparound support to everyone who needs it, is as important as it ever has been.

“The impact of A Bed Every Night has had is remarkable, and so much of that is down to the generosity and spirit of the people of Greater Manchester. If you can, please help us fund 1,000 beds this Christmas, and help the most vulnerable this winter get back on their feet.

"With the public’s support we can offer a crucial place of safety to all who need it.”

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The “1000 beds” winter campaign enjoyed immense success last year, raising £47,954 through public donations and through the generosity of Together’s matched funding. It helped fund more than 1,500 nights of accommodation and overall support from the scheme over the festive period.

But, the current financial crisis is seeing the region face increasing tough challenges. In 2022, rough sleeping increase by nine per cent in Greater Manchester, though this was against a steeper increase of 26 per cent nationally. The charity remain resolute that they can address the challenges against increasing adversity.

Sarah Nield, Group Chief Compliances Officer at Together said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for those who do not have a safe place to call home.

"A Bed Every Night is such a worthwhile initiative, helping those who face exclusion from existing services.

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"Supporting at the heart of the community is embedded in everything we do here. I am proud that Together is match funding this campaign for a second year and working with Greater Manchester Mayor's Charity in its mission to end the need for rough sleeping and tackle homelessness in Greater Manchester."

Every contribution, large or small, helps make a huge difference in tackling one of the region’s most pressing challenges.

If you’d like to support the campaign, donate here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/1000beds2023

A Bed Every Night has helped tackle homelessness across the region ever since its peak in 2017. Since 2020 it’s helped nearly 6,000 people, with 2,910 people supported in the last year alone. Currently, there are 658 people in A Bed Every Night who would otherwise be at risk of rough sleeping.