Welcome to 2022 and the ‘Round-Up’

The ‘Year of the Squeeze’

Say Hello to the Round-Up

We’ve been thinking for a while about how often we communicate with our supporters and followers, and how they learn about Mustard Tree. Do people actually know what we do? How do people read about us?

This new newsletter serves to share weekly updates about our day-to-day work; any inspiring stories we’ve seen, how a donation has made a difference – and will shed a light on some of the lesser-known activities you may be interested in.

We’d love to know what you think, and you can leave your feedback in the comments section, or email us at communications@mustardtree.co.uk.

The Year of the Squeeze

A recent report by The Resolution Foundation has labelled 2022 ‘the year of the squeeze’ amid growing concerns around stunted wages and reduced Universal Credit payments, while energy and tax bills continue to rise. The report details that the peak squeeze will hit in April, dubbed a potential ‘cost of living catastrophe’ as energy bills and taxes rise steeply overnight.

“This rise will fall disproportionately on low-income families as they spend far more of their income on energy”.

These factors naturally result in an increase of people registering as clients to join our Manchester and Salford hubs. We are hugely grateful for all the support we received for our ‘Fill a Crate for Christmas’ campaign – as well as our regular donors – helping to keep our costs down for the next couple of months.

British Red Cross Hardship Fund

Our team recently concluded a 5-month partnership with British Red Cross, helping us support people in extreme financial hardship. Pre-paid cards were provided to people who were seeking asylum and had no recourse to public funds – over a 3-month period – helping to alleviate financial emergencies around rent and utility bills, whilst giving people the breathing space to work with us.

1James – one of the people who benefited from the support – had the following to say:

“The pain of being apart from my family and the fear of coming to a new place – your kindness and practical help has given me hope – thank you”.

In all, 103 people (individuals or part of families) through 46 referrals benefited from the intervention – with a total of £24,240 accessed over the 5-month period. This support has helped people keep their homes.

Street Engagement Hub

Hosted at Mustard Tree’s Ancoats hub every Tuesday and Thursday, the Street Engagement Hub welcomed 150 people who were surviving on the streets of Manchester over the last 3-months, with 119 interventions for addiction, housing and financial support.

The collaboration – between Mustard Tree and organisations such as CGL drug and alcohol services, DWP, probation and more – was recently featured in the Big Issue North, describing the hub as a ‘unique project that is helping people get off the streets and stay there’.

Furniture Feedback

Our Community Shops can sometimes be the difference between an empty property or furnished home. We gift approximately 40% of the furniture donations we receive directly to people who need them – through our voucher scheme – giving clients essential items like beds, fridges and sofas.

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Reviews like Josh’s above illustrates just how important your pre-loved furniture and white goods can be.

2021 Wrapped

Capping off our first round-up newsletter is a compilation of our achievements from last year. We really couldn’t do what we do without the support of our partners and donors, so thank you – even if you just help us spread the word with a retweet below – or by sharing this article.

See you next time!

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James’s name has been changed to protect their identity