Here’s our latest good news round up for October, with so many opportunities people have taken and inspirational stories!
Tan has achieved so much since starting at Mustard Tree in February! She has very recently graduated from the Freedom Project and so has been reflecting on her achievements. “I was chosen to speak with Baroness Newlove, the Victims Commissioner. She works hard to get victims of abuse and crime heard by the government. I spoke about the conditions I left in India to come here and about my first positive intervention that I had from Mustard Tree. I told her about my experiences and how places like Mustard Tree are so important to people like me that have domestic violence and abuse experiences. We can come here and be ourselves without retribution. I wanted to highlight the importance of the work you do. It’s amazing the difference it makes when people talk to you in positive way and tell you things will be alright. I have also took part in computer courses which Mustard Tree have helped me get onto; level 2 for Microsoft office and in administration procedures. I’m also doing a business start-up course, as I hope to start up a food business! I am so passionate about cooking and volunteering here at Mustard Tree my passion has only grown. I love cooking lunch for everyone. I have also completed a food hygiene qualification here. Once I get my refugee status, I would love to work for myself and be my own boss. It makes me feel so amazing when I achieve something now, especially when I was daunted by it, like a computer course! Before, I couldn’t see anything in the future. I couldn’t believe that things were going to be ok. However, slowly but surely I started to believe it because of Mustard Tree. They gave me my trust back that good things can happen.”
Marcus is part of the Freedom Project at our Little Hulton hub and has recently finished his Manchester Bee paintings. He is now looking to go to art college to get qualifications and wants to set up his own business holding art classes! He is also manning a pop up shop in Little Hulton Big Local a fantastic community organisation. ‘It feels like I have come full circle as I used to man a stall on Eccles market before with my paintings but no one used to really come and look – now they’re not stuck in a market stall!” When he came to Mustard Tree, Marcus was experiencing a challenging period in his life after losing his wife for whom he had been a long-term carer for many years and left out of work. He felt isolated and wasn’t sure where he go to for support. Having a creative outlet has changed his life. “With Mustard Tree I get to do classes and exhibit my work, it’s a huge deal for me. My social skills and self-reliance have increased with attending classes to build confidence– I didn’t really have any. The biggest difference I see is that I do want to wake up in the morning. I have interest in the world out there which boils down to finding meaning in my work and my art because people are supporting me.” You can read Marcus’s life story here http://www.mustardtree.org.uk/2018/03/marcuss-story/
Jack Bailey from our Little Hulton hub has recently got a job! He has started working part-time at a card shop and still finding time to help out at Mustard Tree. Well done Jack and we wish you all the best in your new role. He really impressed his employers with his CV and training manual, filled with his certificates and completed training goals at Mustard Tree.
Tandem Theatre drama group will be performing a curtain raiser performance called ‘Memories’ for a private performance for With One Voice Homelessness Arts Festival and Summit delegates attending from all over the world! We will be welcoming the public into our performance space for 10 performances from the 1st – 14th November, with tickets available via the Lowry website. We are excited to be a part of the With One Voice Festival and Summit, celebrating how the arts can be used to tackle homelessness and poverty and challenge perceptions.
Our most recent creative showcase was held last week and we enjoyed an amazing set of performances once again from music, creative writing, drama and song club! The performers seem to be gaining in confidence every time! We had a really good turn out from supporters and the public. Thank you to everyone who attended and performed it was a fantastic afternoon. Every performer was involved in our classes that we put on every week, and the showcases are a brilliant chance to share with everyone what they’ve been up to and build confidence.
Here’s the results of today’s pumpkin carving workshop at Mustard Tree Ancoats to decorate our shop. BoOoOoOotiful…we think you’ll agree. Paul from our warehouse team had never carved a pumpkin before and really enjoyed it. He said “it was a challenge but i really had fun and I didn’t think I would keep going to finish it, but I did!” One of our regular visitors, who is currently street homeless came in for the afternoon getting out of the cold and carved and painted a beautiful pumpkin. He then came back to our art class. Everyone can find their opportunity to join our community at Mustard Tree and get creative!