The future of Mustard Tree looks far more secure following some astonishing news. Anthony Preston, the landlord of our current headquarters, a 21,000ft2 warehouse in Ancoats, has made known his intention to gift the premises to us.
We have been operating from 110 Oldham Road, a stones-throw from the city centre, for the past 8 years. We use the premises as a base from which we offer various levels of life support for the homeless and marginalised. We provide food, clothing, furniture, electrical goods, training, mentoring and work experience, with the aim of supporting clients towards long-term solutions.
Working with over 4,500 clients each year, the Ancoats base has become a bustling hub of activity, offering everything from a food bank to furniture recycling, and employment skills to art classes. However, for many of the clients and volunteers engaged on a daily basis, the premises are better described as a “sanctuary” or a “second home”; somewhere they feel respected and valued. We have established a reputation as a place where people feel there is hope; and with it, the opportunity to make real progress towards a healthier and better life.
We also share our home to the Boaz Trust and to Image, two charities conducting vital front-line work for people in crisis, often at their wits end with nowhere else to go. Various other organisations also use the premises on a regular basis to provide support for people recovering from addictions, battling with mental health issues or struggling in other ways.
Adrian Nottingham, our CEO states: “Our landlord and his family have always been active supporters of Mustard Tree, but this gift is incredibly generous and humbling. It means that the long-term sustainability of Mustard Tree takes a very big step forward. I am so pleased for the many good people that Mustard Tree works with; the reassurance that 110 Oldham Road will remain open for them will be welcomed at a time when hope is in short supply.”
Anthony Preston states, “We are very happy to help and support Mustard Tree in this particular way. We have watched the way it has developed and sought to respond to the needs of those who access its services and interventions. My father would have been very proud to see the old warehouse being put to such positive use and providing a secure and permanent home for Mustard Tree.”
The gift of the building allows us to now plan for the future, not just in terms of raising the essential money we need to deliver our services year-to-year; but to plan for the next decade. “There is no doubt that times are hard” states Adrian, adding. “We’re seeing huge increases in demand for all our services, and we need to make sure that we build a long-term strategy to provide that critical framework of access, enablement and support that thousands have come to rely on from us.” Thanks to Anthony and his most generous gift, we feel that this is now possible and we look forward to what the future holds.