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Spotlight Interview: Barnabus

We always love speaking with the charities and organisations we partner with about the work they do. There are so many lovely, generous people within the charitable sector. Our hope is that we can give you a little insight into the lives of these people and the great work they do. One such lovely person is Abi at Barnabus. She was kind enough to answer our questions, and provide you with a window into her work with them.

Barnabus is Christian charity based in Manchester, working to help those on their doorstop who have nothing. They help over 100 people a day through their drop-in centre (65% of whom are rough sleepers) and have delivered over 40,000 meals to rough sleepers during the pandemic lockdown. Those numbers are truly outstanding!

Have a read below of our chat with Abi to find out more.

Name: Abi Hardy

Job Title: Engagement Worker

Charity: Barnabus

City: Manchester

How did you start working for Barnabus?

I started volunteering for Barnabus whilst studying for my masters. I really wanted to get involved and help as I could see the ever increasing homelessness situation in Manchester. I volunteered for about a year or so and applied for a job with them when they had a vacancy. There's a running joke at Barnabus that once you get involved that's it, you can't think about anything else!

What is your favourite thing about working for Barnabus?

I love the variety within the job. No day is ever the same as the last one. I love that I meet new people and get to know the rough sleepers we work with. It is so rewarding being able to see a person go on their journey from the streets into accommodation.

How has Barnabus adapted to the current lockdown situation?

Since the start of lockdown we have prepared, cooked and delivered over 32,000 meals to rough sleepers self isolating  in emergency accommodation as well as providing food and food parcels to vulnerable families and people experiencing homelessness in Manchester. Our support team have been working remotely to help people through the stresses of this rapid change in their circumstances while still working to house people who are becoming homeless during this crisis. We are planning to reopen our premises this month, to be able to offer face to face support and advice for housing, health, drug and alcohol dependencies, universal credit and opening bank accounts. Sadly many people are in need of this support to help them get off the streets and build new lives, this donation will be a vital support to keep everyone safe as we do re-open. We’re so thankful to all our supporters by working together we know we can continue to transform lives and bring hope.

What are the best ways people can help the Barnabus?

With so many fundraising events such as the Manchester 10k being cancelled, supporting charities through individual fundraisers is more important than ever. You could also support our work by donating some of the items we need to continue our work.

You can purchase donation items for Barnabus by visiting their online shop here. We'll make sure your chosen items are delivered directly to them. Each and every item purchased, from a pack of toothbrushes to new underwear, will directly help a person in need and help to give them a small sense of normality. Warm fuzzy feelings guaranteed!

How has lockdown / COVID-19 affected your day to day work?

There has been quite a massive shift. I’ve gone from running a drop in centre, chatting to and supporting our friends every day, to organising a food preparation and delivery service on an pretty industrial scale.

What is your top tip for staying motivated during lockdown?

I think I am more on the go now than a normal days work. Lots of coffee and the support of a good team has kept me motivated. It is also great when we get phone calls from our service users, updating us on the positive things that have happened for them during lock down. That definitely motivates us to keep doing the job we are doing!

We certainly agree with the need for coffee and a good team. Thank you to Abi for her time in answering our questions, and of course also for the great work she does with the rest of the team at Barnabus!

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