Salford staff volunteer at emergency women's shelter

8 June, 2020

Several locals from Salford, including a number of staff from Salix Homes, have been volunteering during the coronavirus pandemic at emergency facilities set up to rehouse the homeless.  One of which is a facility to rehouse women including those fleeing domestic violence.

The facility, which can hold up to 27 women, was set up specifically in response to COVID-19 provides accommodation that allows residents to maintain social distancing.  

The building in which it is based was previously used as a residential facility for people with severe autism. It provides large size rooms for each guest and all rooms come with an en-suite.

A staff member from Salix Homes, Jackie Crook, has been involved with the facility since its start-up in April. Jackie helped to get the facility ready to accommodate the guests by helping to clean the bedrooms and bathrooms after the contracted cleaners didn’t turn up and since then has been working on reception to book residents into the facility as they arrive.

Jackie said, “The coronavirus pandemic has affected people in lots of different ways across the world, whether that be mentally or physically. I was keen to volunteer to help support the community in some way, so when I was offered the opportunity to help at the women’s refuge I jumped at the chance.

“The facility really is a lifeline for some of the women who are staying here so it’s vital that facilities like this exist right now. Some guests are very high risk, with high support needs so there is a fairly intensive management and support structure in place to ensure all their requirements are met.”

As part of the role, Jackie has also been supporting residents to make housing benefit applications, and homeless applications with Manchester City Council, taking new referrals over the phones, ensuring room keys are logged in and out as residents come and go from the building, ensuring any maintenance issues  are dealt with and helping residents with their general support needs.

CEO of Salix Homes, Lee Sugden said, “We couldn’t be prouder of the efforts of Jackie and the team at the women’s refuge. They are playing a critical role in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Manchester during the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is another great example of the generosity and hard-work from the incredible people that work for Salix Homes, many of whom are currently volunteering their time to charities across Greater Manchester.”

Sheila Horgan is a team leader at the facility. She said, “Jackie is an invaluable part of the team that is working with Domestic Violence and Abuse Homeless Women and for women who have been found rough sleeping across Greater Manchester. This is a difficult time for all given the current situation in relation to Covid -19 and our services are grateful for those who are willing to volunteer  to work alongside other professionals to deliver a high quality support service in a very short period of time to a vulnerable client group. 

“Jackie's previous background of experience in her everyday normal work has proved to be an asset to the current team and importantly the client group who Jackie relates well to in relation to supporting the women who are in our service.

“We thank Jackie and Salix Homes for all the support that has been given to our project.”

For help and support in relation to Domestic Violence and abuse contact the helpline below.      

Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247