A service for homeless people – which found itself homeless – has celebrated the gift of a lifetime – a brand new home.
Salford Loaves and Fishes, which has been providing a drop in service for up to 50 to 60 people a day for the last 30 years, has moved into Edward Holt House at 1, Paddington Close, Churchill Way, Pendleton.
Thanks to the generosity of the Joseph Holt brewing family which bought the building and paid for a £546,000 refurbishment it now has rent-free premises and a 100 year lease to continue supporting local people.
Jane Murphy, Chairman of the Trustees of Salford Loaves and Fishes, said: “We are delighted to have a new, permanent home and can’t thank the Edward Holt Trust enough for their generosity. Our services are needed more than ever and we can now focus on helping everyone who comes through our doors.”
Salford Loaves and Fishes launched its drop in service in 1987, starting originally as the Cathedral Centre in the basement of Salford Cathedral, Chapel Street. Set up by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus, a Catholic Christian community of women, it worked for nearly twenty years there serving the needs of homeless and other impoverished people and became known as Salford Loaves and Fishes.
In 2007 it moved to the Windsor Centre, working with the Manchester City Mission for eight years, but had to find another home in 2015. After temporary lodgings in portacabins helped by the charity Emmaus, Salford and part of a factory building, owned by local business, Speedy Products, it has a new home provided by the Edward Holt Charitable Trust.
Salford City Council has also been working with Loaves and Fishes to help them find a new home.
The Edward Holt Trust was set up in 1950 by a member of the Holt brewing family. Its main activity is providing accommodation for people with limited means at Holt House, Didsbury, but it works across Greater Manchester and, over the last five years, has helped numerous homelessness projects with capital funds and other support costs.
Richard Kershaw, Joseph Holt’s Chief Executive, who chairs the Trust, said: “We were pleased to be able to help get this service on a sounder footing. All our trustees were impressed with the total dedication to helping homeless people in Salford that the trustees, staff and volunteers involved in Loaves and Fishes had shown over many years.”
Loaves and Fishes currently opens three days a week Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8am to 2pm and is looking for more volunteers to expand its opening hours. Anyone interested is asked to call 0161 737 8775 or call into the centre.