‘Mountain of gifts’: Greater Manchester’s homeless families given Xmas cheer

Families facing homelessness in Salford and Trafford will have some cheer this Christmas, after staff at Salix Homes housing association have collected a ‘mountain of gifts’.

Salford’s Supported Tenancies Services, managed by Salix Homes, will be busy this Christmas period, as they help dozens of families in need.

The gifts will be shared out among families placed in temporary accommodation this Christmas, and include toys, Christmas decorations and books.

Head of housing options at Salix Homes, Mike Wright, said: “It’s difficult for these families at any time of year.

“But it’s particularly heart-wrenching at Christmas when you know the children face waking in an unfamiliar environment on Christmas morning with no presents or festive celebrations.

“Thanks to all our employees we now have a plentiful supply of toys, gifts and treats which will hopefully bring a smile to the faces of children who would otherwise be facing a very bleak Christmas.”

The Supported Tenancies Service currently supports around 50 families in Salford, and a further 20 in Trafford, all facing homelessness for many reasons, including domestic violence.

A lot of these families will have fled their homes with little else but the clothes they are wearing, making staff efforts this Christmas all the more appreciated.

Speaking to MM, Service Manager for Supported Housing, Rachel Connelly, said: “Christmas does not stop this from happening.

“We will be receiving people up until Christmas eve. Last year we had a woman with her family who was victim of domestic abuse.

“They had to leave their home quite quickly, and she was not able to bring with her any of the presents she’d bought for Christmas.

“We generally see an increase in people coming to us for help in the New Year.

“At Christmas people are kept supported and allow people to come back home. We will see a big increase in the New Year when good will runs out.”

While Salix Home staff have often bought an extra present at Christmas time to donate, this is the first year they have had such a drive towards giving.

The families they look after range from having teens to young babies.

And for anyone wishing to donate, the centre will happily welcome gifts, even after Christmas for those needing they will look after in the New Year.

Presents can be donated to Salford Housing Options Point, Unity House, Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton, M27 5AW, or contact Salix Homes on 0161 607 1620.

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