News and Media The Barnabus blog Starting the year as we mean to go on Starting the year as we mean to go on There is often a lot of help and support for people who spend the Christmas holiday on the streets. Sadly, though, this is usually short lived. Every year there is much less on offer on New Year’s Day, which is why we always try to ensure our doors are open. We felt it was very important to the wellbeing of our friends that this year was no different. Read on to discover how we were able to welcome in 2021, as well as a truly inspirational story to give us all hope in the months ahead. Hot meals and gifts to ring in the new year This year, we had a special opportunity to offer support on New Year’s Day in Manchester’s city centre. In the building where we and other charities host the breakfast project (a collaborative charity food service), we were blessed to offer a takeaway roast dinner, hot drinks and hope to over 50 people who were rough sleeping. We even handed out a New Year’s goody bag – packed with practical gifts and, yes, some chocolate too! The Christmas and New Year period is typically a very tough time for people who are already suffering from the low self-esteem and depression that can sadly come with sleeping rough on our city streets. We hope that we were able to bring some joy and optimism to them, and make their start to 2021 brighter. Reasons to be cheerful We believe that every one of our friends has the ability and strength to overcome the obstacles in their lives that have led them to experience homelessness. Last year, our friend Billy (name changed for anonymity) proved it. He was able to begin on his journey away from the streets after several years sleeping rough in Manchester. Billy has been in and out of various temporary accommodations due to his complex needs. Our case worker Jenna has been regularly helping him work through some of the issues he’d faced with his benefits, as well as supporting him in seeking specialist services such as mental health and drug and alcohol teams. Over the past few months, Billy has started to progress very well and engage with these support networks. We’ve also worked in partnership with other services to move Billy into his own flat. He is anxious that history may repeat itself, but we have linked him up with wraparound support teams to help put his mind at ease. Billy has been really happy ever since and is positively thriving. We’re excited to see what great things he’ll move on to in 2021. Support our work in 2021 We remain full of hope for our friends who sadly started the year on our city’s streets, and will work tirelessly to help them seek a fresh start wherever possible.