Lifeshare in the Limelight: Evicted Manchester soup kitchen finds new home

A soup kitchen that was forced to leave its building last month after 30 years has found a new home at the Limelight community hub in Old Trafford.

Lifeshare feeds hundreds of rough sleepers in Manchester city centre and is the only project to provide breakfasts at the weekends and open on Christmas day.

For decades, the facility has been based at the Charter Street Mission, which first opened its doors in the 1860s to provide free meals, clothing and education. However, the mission’s trustees said the charity must leave because the city centre building is being redeveloped.

Trafford Housing Trust (THT), which owns Limelight, has stepped in to offer a new base, so the charity can continue to be a lifeline for homeless people in the city. The first breakfasts were served this weekend.

“We are delighted to have found a new home at Limelight for our Weekend Breakfast Service,” said Lifeshare trustee, Robin Toal. “For 30 years we have provided an essential service to people in Manchester experiencing homelessness and poverty and we look forward to continuing the service with our new partners. Limelight’s facilities are fantastic, and we’re excited to explore new opportunities with the team there to provide better services and support to people in our community who need it most.”

Larry Gold, THT’s acting chief executive, said: “When we saw the story of Lifeshare being evicted from the building that has been its home for decades, we had to step in with the offer of support. Lifeshare is the only charity that gives those sleeping on the streets a hot breakfast at the weekend. Without it, hundreds of homeless people could be going hungry. That’s not acceptable to us.”

THT said that giving Lifeshare a new base is part of its commitment to GM Mayor Andy Burnham’s pledge to end street homelessness. The charity is part of the Social Impact Bond, which is funding homes and providing support services, and the A Bed Every Night project, which provides a bed during winter.

Limelight is a £20 million hub that combines over 55s extra-care apartments with state-of-the-art community facilities. It also has an on-site health suite, library, pharmacy, opticians, hair and beauty hub, café and nursery, which are all open to the public and residents.

NH

Main image: Volunteers with David Teasdale, centre manager for Trafford Housing Trust’s Limelight

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