Peter and Beryl head up this charity which reaches out to homeless men and women in Manchester city centre. The work began in 1990 when Peter used to go into Manchester with sandwiches to share with people living on the streets. For a few years he and medically qualified volunteers gave food and medical assistance from a recycled double decker bus – ‘Barnabus’. Now the charity has The Beacon centre in Bloom Street, Manchester, with facilities offering a hot meal, a shower and a change of clothes each week to 500-600 homeless people, many of whom have severe drug and alcohol addictions and mental health issues.
The Beacon centre offers: Classes in ITC, art, crafts and cookery. An allotment project A health and wellbeing suite manned by volunteer NHS nurses and paramedics signposting to specialist services, eg, Manchester Mental Health Team and NHS Specialist Substance Nurses. Eye checks by a volunteer optician. Advocacy support, including helping to secure shelter, I.D, benefits, housing, training, rehabilitation services, training and jobs. A small team of staff is supported by 70 volunteers who together helped Barnabus receive the Queen’s Award “unsung heroes” for Voluntary Service.