Big Funding Boost!

Urban Outreach is celebrating after two recent funding bids were successful.

An award of £490,000 has come from the Big Lottery’s Help Through Crisis fund which was established to work with people who find it difficult to access mainstream services. The charity will use the money over the next five years to help people tackle their immediate needs, and then working one-to-one, help them gain the confidence needed to take control of their lives and plan for a better future. The project involves a partnership with local mental health support charity BAND (Building A New Direction) who will provide befriending support to clients on the project. People will be referred into the project by Greater Manchester Police, the Royal Bolton Hospital, North West Ambulance Service, mental health and drugs and alcohol services.

Dave Bagley, Chief Executive said: “We’re thrilled that the Big Lottery has awarded this money to help people in Bolton. We carried out a successful pilot of this work last year, and we know what a difference the support we provide can make to the lives of people in crisis who need a bit of help getting back on their feet. All of our work is about partnership, and it’s great to be working with BAND who have an outstanding befriending service for people with a mental health condition. We built fantastic working relationships with health services and other organisations during the pilot, and we’re looking forward to building on these as we work together to help people turn their lives around.”

Urban Outreach will also share in a pot of £375,000 from the Government’s £12 million “tampon tax”.

Eve’s Space, the charity’s project which works with female offenders, is a member of the Greater Manchester Women Offenders Alliance which made the bid for the money, which equals the VAT receipts from sanitary products each year. The Alliance was the only one to receive the full amount asked for.

Mr Bagley said: “We’re thrilled to be part of Greater Manchester Women Offenders Alliance that has secured this vitally needed funding. Eve’s Space has been supporting female offenders in Bolton for many years and we’ve worked hard over the last couple of years to help support the development of comprehensive services for female offenders across Greater Manchester. This funding will enable us to give an even better service to female offenders in the town and also allow sharing of best practice and training on a Greater Manchester scale.”

Karen (not her real name) who received support from Urban Outreach tells the story of how her life has changed:

“I was referred to Urban Outreach by my social worker in May last year. I had phoned the ambulance service 47 times in the previous six months. I was in a mess emotionally and drinking heavily. I was living with my parents and under a lot of pressure. Sue, my support worker, visited me and my parents at our home. My worker was concerned about my dad’s health, I was looking after him and he was physically and verbally abusive to me and my mum.

“My dad was referred into respite care for a couple of weeks while they assessed his needs. He was diagnosed with dementia and we were informed that he couldn’t return to the family home as he needed 24 hour care. Sue then referred my mum to a sheltered scheme and she moved in and got the support she needed. I was then left in the family home and the council would not pay my rent as my ex-partner owned the home. I panicked but Sue told me not to worry.

“A week later I was moving into temporary accommodation and it was a big relief to me. Sue then referred me to the Alcohol Team and Sanctuary – this was a place I could go to or ring in the night if I was feeling low or suicidal – I continued to get support to build my confidence and sort out some of my debts.

“Now ten months later I have been offered my own council flat. Sue is making sure that I get furniture and that all my bills are set up for me. I’m so happy with all the support I’ve received; it’s really turned my life around. In the last ten months I’ve only phoned the ambulance service once.”

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