Salford Loaves and Fishes
Salford Loaves and Fishes is a charity that supports people that are homeless, isolated or vulnerable from its base in Salford. With a Christian ethos that offers an unconditionally positive, accepting and non-judgmental approach, the charity strives to support clients from all faiths or none in reaching their full potential.
The charity aims to meet the needs of guests which range from basic things such as food and drink, clothing, warmth and shelter to a listening ear, companionship or support with debt or addiction problems.
The Drop In Centre offers a warm and safe environment from which a range of services are delivered including hot food and drinks, clothing, dentist, GP and Practice Nurse, Community Alcohol Team, Drugs Clinic & Needle Exchange, smoking reduction and support, and access to Citizens Advice Bureau.
Next door, the Skills for Life Centre delivers employability skills, actively supporting people in employment and training. Courses including ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and a basic to advanced IT is offered.
A drop in Arts and Craft group provides a creative outlet. There is also a Housing advice and support drop in run by Salford Council each week.
Salford Loaves and Fishes brings together a wealth of experience and expertise in working with homeless and vulnerable people and aims to empower people to develop the skills to act with confidence on their own behalf; eventually perhaps to assist others.
Offering hope is a cornerstone of the charity, to people who may sometimes feel pretty hopeless. By sharing positive hope, the staff and volunteers start by walking alongside people as they seek to describe their situation and then to accompany them in sorting out their problems and help them to move on to a better situation.
Prior to the launch of the cookery club, funded by the Delamere Dairy Foundation, many of the service users had few or no cooking facilities and were spending their limited incomes on fast food and take-aways which was having a detrimental effect on both their health and finances.
The project aimed to improve education around healthy eating, budgeting and the impact on wellbeing. The cookery club distributed over 100 slow cookers and bought food and utensils for cookery and food preparation. Clients could attend the weekly drop in to receive recipe ideas, cooking tips and the use of a slow cooker.
“One of the intended outcomes of this project is to equip people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead healthier, more independent lives and eventually be less reliant on external assistance.
“The client is at the heart of everything we do and it has been a brilliant success and really well attended.”