Lyreco supporting our GROW programme – Eleanor’s story

The Street Engagement Hub is a support service consisting of 14 different agencies, that are hosted at the Mustard Tree in Manchester twice a week.  The aim is to provide support for those people who are begging or rough sleeping in Manchester. The hub supports people away from street life by helping them with accommodation, harm reduction with substance misuse, benefits, physical and mental health, bank accounts, probation and a specialised women’s service.

There is a small grant that must be shared between five different support agencies to provide staffing. Riverside co-ordinate the hub and with the small grant it did mean that we could only supply two staff. George has been volunteering from the start of the project in 2019 and was ready for employment. He went from making coffee to fully assessing peoples support needs. It is important that people with lived experience are part of the team as the connection with the person receiving the service is stronger. Also, George is part of the coproduction of the service, often thinking of what the person needs from the service and more importantly what is missing.

Lyreco have been amazing in supporting the Street Engagement Hub by using their social value commitment to employ George. Without this commitment George would not have a job and the Street Engagement Hub would not have capacity to see so many vulnerable people, as there would not have been enough staff to cope with the demand.

Social value is really the way forward to support people into employment and in this case the impact is that the Street Engagement Hub were able to work with over 700 people with 1692 support interventions. This would have halved if Lyreco had not supported us.

Eleanor Watts
Area Manager, Riverside