Here at Gallant Sports we understand the importance of keeping fit, healthy and strong - both mentally and physically. Food plays a huge part of this and we believe that where your next meal comes from should not be a concern. Due to this, we have chosen to support Mustard Tree, a Greater Manchester based organisation, born and bred in Manchester ourselves it’s important to us to know that we are supporting our community. After all, charity begins at home.
There are 220 Food Providers in Manchester (as of March 2020, a 60% increase from 2017) and within the region there are currently 600,000 people living in poverty. Mustard Tree provides a “no questions asked” approach, helping not only those that are experiencing homelessness, but also assisting individuals and families that might be facing poor mental health, recovering from addiction or refugees. With the focus of getting these individuals back on their feet.
We spoke to Rosie Field, Corporate Partnerships Manager for Mustard Tree to find out more about the work they do and the services they provide.
Firstly, thank you for the great service you provide. Other than donating food and money are there other ways businesses can help you to begin turning individuals lives around?
We also accept furniture donations. This is a really important part of Mustard Tree. Roughly 40% of all furniture is gifted to people who have secured a new tenancy, helping them move away from homeless and prevent a recurrence of homelessness in the future.
Mustard Tree wants to help people transform their lives, and for many this includes a route to employment. Ask if your business is open to hosting one of our Freedom trainees.
Have you seen a rise in the number of people turning to Mustard Tree for guidance as a result of Covid-19?
We have remained open throughout COVID19, and with that came an increase in people needing support. As services were forced to shut we noticed new faces, as well as regulars needing extra support. The pandemic has brought new people to Mustard Tree, people who previously had never had to access low-cost food, or discounted white goods. It has shown us the precarity of how many within our communities live.
Everyday, we are dealing with the economic fallout of a health crisis. The worry is that once the pandemic is over and restrictions lift, the fall out will be felt for months if not years to come. This is why we are really keen to reopen our vital services and training programs as soon as possible.
As a sport and fitness company, we believe that keeping active is vital for your mental health, something we know hasn’t been possible for a number of people over the last 12 months. However, would you say you see an improvement in people’s mental well being when they get involved with your more hands on activities?
It cannot be understated how important it is for people to feel like they are involved and belong to something. We have people asking us all the time when our holistic classes will come back on site. We want art, music, yoga to bring people together. We need the interaction and the fulfillment that comes with engaging and participating. Mustard Tree is working hard to ensure that we are able to offer the best variety of classes to all of our clients.
And lastly, we’ve covered businesses but for individuals that want to help but perhaps don’t have the facilities to assist in the form of donations, is there any other way you would recommend them getting involved with Mustard Tree?
Because Mustard Tree is so multi-faceted, there will always be options for people who would like to get involved with our work. Do they have a skill or vocation which could benefit our Freedom trainees? We host a variety of online courses and classes (soon to return on site), which everyone is more than welcome to join (they may even want to teach a class and share their experience i.e. customer service, IT skills etc).
One of our values is 'Partnership' - working together to build strong relationships based on mutual trust. This could simply mean being an ambassador for us through word of mouth, following us on our social channels (@MustardTreeMCR) or subscribing to our newsletter (see our website homepage for details). We're not a huge charity so just having this lobbying support is often just as valuable as the monetary donations. The more people that know about us - the more people who need help can access our services - win win!
If you want to get involved in Mustard Tree’s work, you can find their website here and if you know of any worthy causes we should consider, please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.