The Wood Street Mission has reopened its ‘Family Basics’ project to families-in-need across Salford and Manchester.

It is one of many projects that Wood Street Mission is spearheading to combat poverty across the two cities.

Wood Street Mission Manager, Des Lynch, gave an explanation of what ‘Family Basics’ aims to provide for families in Salford:

Des also discussed how the charity will be extending further into Salford very soon:

“We’re planning to open an outreach project in Little Hulton in the beginning of March this year.

“We plan to open a building there as it will be able to reach people who live outside the centre of Salford.

“Some people are travelling for over an hour to get help from our charity and we want to change that.

“Little Hulton is also an extremely deprived area, which makes the location more effective for those in need.

“Our remit is to help families from Salford and Manchester. Both of the cities mirror each other’s problems so we are not going to ignore the needs of Salford.”

Wood Street Mission is the oldest children’s charity in Greater Manchester, established in 1869. The charity has been in its current building since 1873.

Des tells more about the history of Wood Street Mission:

The charity prides itself on its ability to adapt and change in order to keep serving the community as effectively as possible.

Alongside ‘Family Basics’ the charity runs other projects throughout the year, always aiming to help families who are in need.

Beginning by giving oranges and nuts away to children in the 1800s, the charity managed to distribute 14,000 toys to over 4,000 children in last year’s Christmas appeal.

The room that ‘Family Basics’ usually occupies is transformed into a toy shop.

Parents come in and choose three different toys to give to their children at Christmas.

The charity also gives away selection boxes to children.

‘Smart Start’ is a project that runs from May until September. The project aims to get children to school feeling and looking like their peers.

The charity provides new school uniforms, waterproof coats and rucksacks to families who can’t afford them.

The projects helps children to fit in with their peers and to be properly equipped for the new school year.

‘Books Forever’ gives children access to books in a world where many adults neglect the importance of reading to their child’s development.

Des calls the literacy rates in Salford and Manchester, “appalling” when compared to the rest of the country.

The charity goes into schools and runs a book fair style event where children are given a book bag and encouraged to choose books that they find interesting.

Wood Street Mission is asking people to donate books for their book appeal that will last from March until April this year.

Des recommends that parents contact their educational support officer at their child’s school if they need to be referred to the charity.

The charity always welcomes donations of second hand clothing, books and other useful items that families might need.

Wood Street Mission is located at 26 Wood Street, Manchester, M3 3EF

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