A special charity fund that has been set up to help Ukrainian refugees arriving in Manchester has awarded its first grant.
Set up by Manchester City Council in partnership with one of the city’s most iconic organisations, We Love MCR Charity (WLMC), all with the aim of supporting individuals and families fleeing the devastating conflict and arriving here in Manchester, the new MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund funds charities and voluntary sector groups who are providing assistance – such as essential items, advice, and more.
The charity fund was officially set up back in March, and every penny raised and donated by it will go towards supporting Ukrainian evacuees in the city.
The Council kicked-off the fund, with a donation of £50,000.
And now, less than two months after it was launched, it has been confirmed that Ardwick-based charity Europia has been awarded £30,000 from the fund – with £25,000 going towards dedicated support workers who will help co-ordinate and provide advice and support around immigration, work, and welfare issues, and translations.
The remaining £5,000 will be used as part of a new hardship fund for Ukrainians arriving in Manchester, which the support worker will help to administer.
Speaking on the awarding of the first grant, Bev Craig – Leader of Manchester City Council – commented: “Manchester is a welcoming city and we recognise that we need to do all we can to support Ukrainians relocating here in the most traumatic of circumstances.
“The MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund is part of that collective effort [and] I’m glad that the generosity of Mancunians, including an initial donation from the Council, is translating so quickly into practical help.”
“The fund has raised over £60,000 so far,” Joanne Roney OBE – Chief Executive at Manchester City Council added.
“We’d like to thank everyone who has donated, but people are arriving with next to nothing and we would welcome further donations from anyone who wants to show our Ukrainian guests a warm Mancunian welcome.”
Thanking the Council and WLMC for the grant from the fund, Kush Chottera – Chief Executive at Europia – added: “We’re delighted this money will be used to employ an experienced worker to give practical support to help Manchester’s Ukrainian arrivals settle in safely.
“Thank you Mancunians for your donations.”
You can donate to the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund here, or by texting WELCOME 10 to 70490 to give £10, with texts costing the donation amount plus one standard network rate message.
Make sure you keep an eye on We Love MCR Charity’s website and Twitter for updates too.
Featured Image – WLMC
Manchester secures £5.2m funding to build ‘supported accommodation’ for rough sleepers
Manchester has secured a whopping £5.2 million in funding to build new ‘supported accommodation’ designed to house rough sleepers.
After an application submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) has been approved this week, Manchester City Council says it’s eager to help the former homeless “rebuild their lives”.
This means that, by working in partnership with housing and support providers Humankind, Jigsaw, and Great Places, the Council will oversee the creation of 42 units of supported housing across three different schemes.
The schemes are for single people with a history of rough sleeping and longer-term support needs.
According to the Council, these people will stay in this accommodation and receive personalised support until they are ready to “take the next step to independent living”.
This new £5.2 million funding allocation from the Government covers both the cost of creating the accommodation – which must be completed by March 2025 at the latest – and revenue funding to help run it for its first three years of opening.
“We are working with a range of partners to tackle the homelessness challenge on all fronts, from prevention in the first place to helping people into permanent, settled homes,” explained Cllr Joanna Midgley, who is the Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council.
“Securing this £5.2m funding for the city will help us create much-needed extra accommodation for those being helped off the streets who need significant long-term support before they are ready to live independently.
“It’s only part of a wider response but it will be a welcome addition to the accommodation and support available.”
The news of the successful application comes after the Council published its plan to get rough sleepers off the streets of Manchester and into temporary accommodation this winter back in early November.
With temperatures expected to reach as low as -5C by Friday, 29 November, the Met Office and UKHSA pushed out an amber heat-health alert on Wednesday, with the elderly, clinically vulnerable and the health sector in general said to be those most at risk.
Although the freezing weather obviously has the potential to affect everyone — with the likes of the North East and Northern Ireland having already been given a yellow weather warning as well — amber heat-health warnings are deemed to require an ‘enhanced response‘ as they are likely to significantly impact “across the whole health service” and possibly other sectors too.
Under the relatively new CHA (cold-health alert) system, anything beyond a yellow level alert means that it is expected that there will be increased use of healthcare services by vulnerable populations and an increase in risk to health to individuals over the age of 65, those with pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and other vulnerable groups like rough sleepers.
As well as the Met Office offering their verdict, the UKHSA’s Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection, Dr Agostinho Sousa, said: “With a risk of widespread overnight frosts and some snow across the country this week, it’s important to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold.
“Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly older people, and those with pre-existing health conditions, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.
“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat the rooms where you spend most of your time in[doors], such as your living room or bedroom.”
For those considered to be at risk during this cold snap and amber-heat health warning, the official government-sanctioned advice is that if you can’t heat all the rooms in your home, it is important to heat the rooms you spend the (i.e. living room in the day and bedroom before going to sleep) to at least 18 degrees if possible.
They also recommend wearing a few thin layers instead of one thick layer, as the former is better at trapping heat than just one big jumper etc.
Other advice on how to stay safe during these colder periods includes stocking up on food and medicine, keeping windows closed and reducing draughts at home, as well as getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, you can get in touch with the NHS on 111 and if it is an emergency please call 999 immediately.