The route is finalised and the 60 or so participants are ready. Tomorrow is the day Frazer John Recruitment’s Manchester 3000 will begin its third annual outing.
Participants will endure two and a half hours of stair climbing and running. It is a crazy feat to attempt but the team, this year supported by our fantastic clients, candidates and associates, are doing it for one reason – Big Change Manchester. This initiative deserves everybody’s attention for two reasons.
First, it offers a collective solution to the homeless problem that is so evident across our city. Having recently attended the national homelessness conference we can confirm the shocking reality of what is happening on the streets of Manchester.
Since 2010 the number of rough sleepers has increased by 361% to around 350-400 according to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. This figure, they admit, is a conservative estimate and that actual numbers are likely much higher. Contrast this with the fact that the use of temporary accommodation has only increased by 179% in the same period; still a shockingly high increase, but nowhere near matching the demand.
Second, and more importantly, it offers a way to genuinely support those living on the streets. The fund is available and distributed to 18 charities and volunteer groups across the city that provide a helping hand at a crucial juncture. This means someone may be financially supported with a deposit or provided with essential furniture or clothing to get them back on their feet and into work.
The people of this great city are famously very generous and most people sleeping rough do have access to food and water. It’s well documented that substance abuse is rife within the homeless community; take a walk through the city centre at any point of the day and you can witness this for yourself – we are seeing a Spice epidemic that needs addressing. As much as it pains me to say it, we are also besieged by professional beggars praying on the good will of folk as they pass by rushing to their next meeting or catching the last train. Big Change Manchester offers a way to directly help whilst ensuring your money is being utilised in the right way, providing necessary support to those that most desperately need it.
Nationally, the discussion is only just beginning. A new act of parliament which comes into force in 2018 is a huge stride in the right direction but more needs to be done. As a community it is imperative for us to work together to collectively tackle the enormity of the task ahead.
The Manchester 3000 aims to raise funds but also awareness. So, as we aim high (3000ft to be precise), please dig deep and give what you can.