Patrick, a Temporary Accommodation Project Worker, had an unexpected surprise on his way home from the football earlier this year…
I have been going on and off to the Red Rose in Hazel Grove for a few years now and as well as good food the staff have always been very friendly, so it wasn’t unusual that I should end up chatting to the manager after ordering my mushroom madras. However this time the conversation took a turn; he asked what where I worked and I talked to him about working in a Temporary Accommodation unit, what the aims are, what we did and the problems that our residents face. At this point in the conversation I normally get ‘that must be very rewarding’ or simply a blank, glassy stare, so I was very surprised to hear the manager start talking about the voluntary work that he does, helping feed vulnerable people in the Oldham area. He said that they have often thought about doing something in the Stockport area, but have not known where to go. So I told him that of course we would be delighted to link up & distribute food to our residents. A date was set for two weeks in advance & good to his word eight buckets of different curries were ready for me to collect.
Surprisingly enough after spending a night under my supervision, there were still eight buckets ready for distribution the following day. At Brindale House we simply were able to give each resident who wanted a meal a curry; there were 25 meals given out this way. The same happened at Buxton Road Centre, where another 15 were served up. However, the staff at Strathclyde House surpassed themselves by arranging a communal meal that got many of the residents together for a chat and a curry.
We hope to develop a relationship with the Red Rose and that will benefit vulnerable homeless people in Stockport, whether it is through improving their cooking skills, or even just having a decent night with a take away, a chat with friends or watching a film, something that some of us take for granted, but for others is a forgotten luxury.