During the winter months, Inspire is going to be involved in a new initiative to give food and shelter to women refugees and asylum seekers who are homeless in Manchester. Every Saturday night, we will welcome 12 women with a meal and somewhere to sleep – as well as some traditional Levy love! (On other nights of the week, the women will be accommodated in other community centres and churches around the city).
The scheme is being organised by Boaz who have 10 years’ experience running a men’s night shelter but who have seen that there are many women asylum seekers now needing help too. The women will be referred to the scheme from agreed agencies such as Red Cross and Rainbow Haven and those agencies will continue to support them to find proper move-on accommodation and other support. Our job is simply to offer a warm welcome, food and a safe place to sleep to women who are in desperate need.
The scheme will run every Saturday evening from October through to next April and is being organised by Inspire Church – but we want to make it a special Levenshulme community thing and get lots of other people involved too. And we need all kinds of help!
Roz Hughes is our local co-ordinator but we need ‘teams’ of five or six people every week who can do things like:
- Cook – could you cook an evening meal for about 20 people either at Inspire or somewhere else?
- Welcome – could you be there to welcome our special guests and perhaps spend the evening eating and chatting, perhaps playing games or watching a film?
- Sleeping – we need a couple of women to stay overnight each week and help out in case of any emergencies.
- Driving – we need people who can bob into town to pick up our guests at around 7pm and possibly drop them back on a Sunday morning too.
- Laundry – could you volunteer to wash sleeping bag liners, pillow cases and towels occasionally?
The more people who help out, the easier it will be – and we are hoping to organise a rota that will only involve people being ‘on duty’ once a month.
And if you don’t think you can give your time, but you could give a bit of financial support, then we’ve set up a special web page where you can donate. We’ve calculated that it will cost about £25 to accommodate one woman for one month.
If you think you can help then please contact Roz on 07419 209025 or e-mail her on firstname.lastname@example.org.