The Breakfast In Bed project set up by Jamie Whittaker has been profiled in an article in the Guardian.
The best summary of this Levenshulme based project is this:
“…the power of community, of the kindness that occurs when ordinary people come together.”
Levenshulme people overcome adversity, support each other, fight for their community and reach out to others in many different ways.
“Jamie Whittaker started bringing breakfast to homeless people on the streets of Manchester in January. “I had a week off work and I was walking from one train station to another. It was freezing, and there were 10 [homeless] people. They were all supposed to have been offered temporary accommodation because it is that cold, but it was all lies. They shouldn’t have been there.” So he took matters into his own hands.
As with many of the grassroots groups and projects that have sprung up under austerity, social media has played a huge role in the campaigning and organising. Whittaker, 35, who works shifts at a children’s home, started posting about the homelessness problem on the Facebook group Levy Massive, a community group for local people in Levenshume. He gained donations and volunteers as a result. Breakfast in Bed is not a charity and is not government-funded – local businesses and people have donated their time, labour, money and food to keep the project going. The project’s own Facebook group now has more than 800 members and new volunteers are joining all the time.”
The article goes on to mention the involvement and support of the local community.
“…Whittaker is… keen to point out that the volunteers act as go-betweens for two, often conflicting sides. He says: “We reach people they don’t reach, people they don’t know are there, and who are trying to stay off the radar. People who have burnt bridges with the council … we hope that we’re able to rebuild those connections.” With more donations, he’s hoping that the group can start helping to house people as well. They already hold monthly “pop-up” events. This month, it’s the haircuts.
At Shine, a salon in Levenshume, the atmosphere is almost festive, thanks to the cheery manner of the staff and the Shepherd’s pie steaming in the corner. Soon all the chairs are full. Joanne is given a new, chic bob, while Dave, an alcoholic who has been homeless on and off for 15 years, gets a shave and a cut. At the back of the room another staff member rolls cigarettes almost as quickly as they are smoked. A staffie darts about in excitement. The event is a testament to the power of community, of the kindness that occurs when ordinary people come together. In its matter-of-fact Mancunian way, it’s very moving. Outside, where there are extra seats, people are eating. A man cries as his hair is cut. Others are worrying about the freezing temperatures to come, that groups such as this can’t ever fully breach the widening gaps in services.”
Read the full article HERE