This Christmas, the Vita Group and Shelter Help Manchester’s Homeless Source ‘Safe, Clean Beds’.

  • Hundreds of new mattresses have been donated to help hostels meet massive winter demand
  • The scheme aims to support better wellbeing for the homeless community at a challenging time of year.

Manchester-based, The Vita Group is delivering a further 100 donated high-quality mattresses to Shelter, the homeless charity, this week in a bid to reduce rough-sleeping in Greater Manchester and offer those desperately in need a safe, clean bed this Christmas.

Alistair Knowles, The Vita Group; Steven Lambert, ICCG Services and Fabienne Clough, Shelter

In total, Europe’s leading flexible foam solutions provider, The Vita Group, has pledged 300 mattresses to Shelter, with a value of over £50k. To support the ICCG, the mattresses are being delivered in three stages. The first 100 mattresses were delivered in summer 2021, and the third delivery is scheduled for next year. Shelter is working with Manchester City Council’s temporary accommodation provider, ICCG Services, to allocate the mattresses across Manchester’s temporary and emergency housing.

The mattresses will help address the massive demand for clean bedding in hostels and other forms of temporary housing, fuelled by rising numbers of homeless people and the need to meet Covid-19 hygiene protocols. Having clean bedding readily available will speed up the turn-around process in hostels, so more beds can be offered to homeless people faster.

Currently, there are 3,000 families on the waiting list for permanent accommodation in Greater Manchester, with a potential three-year waiting list. Manchester also has one of the highest rates of rough sleeping in the UK*.

John Ryan, Shelter’s HUB Manager for Greater Manchester, said: “As we enter the colder months and the Christmas season, inevitably there is a spike in demand for services and, working alongside our partners, our goal is to get as many people off the streets and into accommodation as quickly as possible. The Vita Group’s mattress donation will really support this goal. The mattresses will also mean the first good night’s sleep in a long time for many people forced to sleep rough. That’s so important in terms of health and wellbeing, and supporting people cope with the mental strain of Christmas.”

Darren, who has spent time sleeping rough on the streets of Greater Manchester, commented: “Christmas is a nightmare when you’re on the streets. It’s a time you dread – the opposite of what most people experience. You get very cold and might resort to using substances to help you sleep and get through the night because you’ll be sleeping on the floor or on a bench. Having shelter and a good, clean mattress is so important, as it means you finally get a good night’s sleep. This simple thing can support you on a journey from temporary accommodation to permanent accommodation and change the way you live your life.”

Ian Robb, Group CEO at The Vita Group, said: “This was a natural partnership with Shelter as there is a synergy between The Vita Group producing high-quality mattresses and the fact Shelter and its partners are in constant need of these products. This donation is our way of helping to alleviate the problem. We truly hope that we can make a difference to people for whom Christmas can be an enormously difficult time.”

Posted 14th December 2021

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