A vital Tameside service relied upon by hundreds of older people and adults with disabilities is celebrating its first anniversary this month.
Tameside Home Services provides practical help, such as cooking, shopping, cleaning and other activities they may have difficulty with.
Since it was started by Tameside Council in 2005, Tameside Home Services has grown exponentially, helping customers to maintain their lifestyles and routines, their independence and dignity.
Helen Whittaker, a THS Support Worker said: "Many of my clients are very independent but find it difficult to cope with practical tasks such as house work, changing bed linen, and shopping. I’m so proud of the work that I do. My clients rely on my visits and welcome me into their home as they would a friend or member of their family - it gives me a great feeling.”
Mrs Jean Le Cras, a long standing client living in Denton said: "The service makes such a difference to my life. At 91 I was finding it difficult to manage my home and that’s very important to me. I have wonderful family and friends but it was important to me to remain as independent as possible and THS helped me in this. I have the support for one and a half hours each week and besides the practical help I really enjoy the company and chance to have a chat and a cup of tea with Helen. I would recommend the service to anyone in my position.”
Whilst funding from the Council ceased due to cuts in January 2013, THS has been able to continue to provide its services, having joined up with local charity Threshold and the New Charter Group on 3rd December 2012.
Steve Goslyn, Threshold Chief Executive said: "The importance of the support that Tameside Home Services provides to people in their own homes cannot be overstated – without their help so many people would be stranded. They’ve become a very important part of Threshold and the New Charter Group.”
A local Oldham service that helps and supports young people affected by abuse held its official launch event on Tuesday 8th October. Around fifty attendees crammed into Aksa House on Medtia Square for the Moving Forward launch, a service funded by BBC’s Children in Need.
Most of those attending were representing schools, local charities, youth groups and other community organisations. Several people came who had faced abuse issues in their past and wanted to show their support for the service.
They listened to presentations led by project Support Workers Ruhena and Tammy who spoke about the functions of the project and who the service can help – including young people at risk of forced marriage.
Ruth Francis Senior Support Worker spoke about the importance of Children in Need funding and how it had allowed the service, previously the Vulnerable Young Womens’ Project to help even more people facing abuse, including young men.
A particularly inspiring moment was when Becky, a former client, stood up to talk about the help she had received and that she was now volunteering to help involve more of those like her in the running of the service.
Jason McKenna, Threshold Community-based Services Manager said: "The launch event on Tuesday really captured the spirit of the Moving Forward service and how it can bring community groups and organisations together, raising awareness of some very sensitive and difficult issues. We have now received several invitations to speak about the service and the issues covered in schools and colleges. This will be an enormous help to young people who maybe experiencing abuse and are not sure where to turn.”
A project supporting mothers to get back together with their children on release from custody has received an award for great partnership working at a prestigious criminal justice event.
The national ‘Redemption and Justice Awards’ at the Hinckley Island hotel in Leicestershire on 3rd October saw celebrities and criminal justice experts award the prizes, including to Re-Unite, a partnership involving charities Commonweal Housing, Housing for Women and Threshold.
Re-Unite was founded to help women rebuild a stable family life in the face of many obstacles when released from prison by offering advice and support aiming to prevent homelessness, social exclusion and reoffending.
Steve Goslyn, Threshold Chief Executive said: "Re-Unite is a very new project in the criminal justice sector, and a radical one in what it aims to achieve. The positive work it is doing is increasingly being recognised among professionals, and this award follows a very positive academic report into the project released only a month ago.”
He added: "It shows what can be achieved when different charities and organisations work together to combine their skills and experiences. At Threshold we feel this is becoming all the more important during what is a difficult time for the third sector. Commonweal Housing and Housing for Women have been great partners and show what can be done as a joint effort.
Ashley Horsey, Commonweal Chief Executive said: "This award is a fantastic testament to the hard work of all our partners delivering Re-Unite across the country - especially Threshold in Manchester, but also Anawim in Birmingham, Together Women across Yorkshire & Humberside, the Isis Centre in Gloucestershire and Housing for Women in south London. We are very proud of all our partners.”
We are delighted to announce that Threshold is now running the women’s refuge element of Bridges, a New Charter-led service in Tameside helping people experiencing domestic abuse.
Bridges started on 1st October, bringing in the valued women’s refuge, formally run by Tameside Women’s Project for many years.
Led by New Charter, Bridges will deliver an integrated community and refuge service to families or individuals affected by domestic abuse. Bridges can address any substance misuse issues which may also be present, building on the expertise of Turning Point who part of the service team.
Diane Baxter, Threshold Deputy Chief Executive said: "We are delighted to be part of the Bridges which will deliver a high quality, person-centred, integrated service across all communities in the borough"
Sixty year 11 students from local schools did their bit for the community at the end of September when they worked to help out a homelessness charity and regenerate an area of Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside.
The activities took place as part of National Citizen Service delivered by The Challenge Network, a national charity project aiming to prevent social exclusion by bringing people together, promoting a more integrated society.
The students, who come from schools in Tameside, South Manchester, Oldham and Stockport took part in a huge community clean-up of Hampson Road garden in the Hazelwood neighbourhood, transforming it into a radically different space with landscaping and planting.
They worked alongside homeless and vulnerable people living in the Threshold-run Hampson Road supported housing scheme, with residents there taking part in the planning process for the project.
Other students worked with New Charter’s Neighbourhood teams which help provide young people with work and training opportunities toclean-up areas of Hadfield Crescent, Leech Avenue and Palace Road.
Tony Powell, executive director of neighbourhoods at New Charter said; "It’s really important to engage young people in our communities and neighbourhoods and this was a great way to do so. It was great to work with a national charity and the results speak for themselves".
Residents of a supported housing scheme in Oldham are enjoying a refurbished kitchen after managers of the Unity Partnership gave up an afternoon to support the service.
The team of five kick-started the project at the Threshold charity's Spring Street facility on Friday 13th September, improving the kitchen area for the eighteen people who live there. Their painting and decorating helped create an attractive area for learning and socialising.
Steve Goslyn, Threshold Chief Executive said: "Spring Street provides a really important service for vulnerable people in Oldham and residents are delighted to have improved it alongside the volunteers from Unity Partnership. Living somewhere which is looked after can have a sizable impact on peoples' wellbeing, and activities like this can help in building gain practical and workplace skills."
For Unity Partnership, this activity launches a new volunteering programme called the 500 Club. The Club will provide staff with opportunities across the year to take time away from their desks and usual work and to volunteer for good local causes.
Unity Partnership's Managing Director Andrew Kendall said: "The 500 Club is a new way in which we will be giving something back to the local community over this year and the years to come. Launching this programme by giving some practical support to Threshold has been a really rewarding experience and I hope that we can do more to support them in the future."
David McCallion from Threshold’s Great Lives service met the Mayor of Tameside on Monday 16th September for a special reception.
Threshold was invited to send a representative to the event as special guests of 2nd Generation furnishings, a community led charity run by volunteers who reclaim, refurbish and renovate furniture. They do the same for clothing, soft furnishings, bed and bath linen and object d'art.
The Great Lives service helps prepare people living in supported housing schemes for moving on towards independent living.
Acquiring basic furniture for very cheap, or even free is an important part of this. As a result 2nd Generation and Great Lives have developed strong links to provide furniture packs for customers, volunteering opportunities and workshops on kitting out homes on a budget.
It is great to see their hard work and valuable community contributions continue to be recognised.