From the Caribbean to employment in Holland House – Tony shares a story from the Front

Tony, the Sanctuary Trust Crisis Coordinator, get involved in all kinds of work.  In Tony’s own words, here is an example of his impact whilst working for the Sanctuary Trust in Rochdale..

Last year I had a case land on my desk about a couple who had just recently moved to England from a British over seas island in the Caribbean and had come through the homeless sector.

They were in the process of setting up benefits and had no furniture. When we visited Elvis and his Wife, and four children had no beds in fact no furniture at all their new born child was laid on the floor in front of the gas fire wrapped in blankets, with snow on the ground outside. Hard enough for British people to deal with but this family had come from a place where the sun always shines.

Elvis was doing his best to provide for his family doing any kind of work he could mainly labouring on building sites and working in a scrap yard to bring in cash. They explained to me that they had moved from the Caribbean for the sake of getting a better life for the children. Explaining that they wanted to move due to the gang culture on the small island that they came from and did not want their children getting involved in that lifestyle.

It was so nice to meet a family who had come so far. So when I got back to the office I pulled on the full power of Sanctuary trust, Angie’s Angels, food delivery service, and the Crisis and RSI teams, We provided gas and electric through Real Change Rochdale, Angie provided clothes furniture from Sanctuary storehouse. So that the family had beds bedding something to sit on fridge freezer and other essentials with the Pass it on guys delivering late in the day. RSI and Crisis sorted funds and DCF for the family.

Elvis, who is a giant of a man both in size and as I could tell in heart, so proud and respectful, explained that he used to work with youth teams in the Caribbean with 16–25-year-olds to try stop them getting involved with gangs there. I explained to him about the other position I hold at Sanctuary trust working in the homeless hostels and he said he would like to do that kind of work.

Last month Elvis applied for a position at Holland house and was interviewed and following the usual checks was successful.  Elvis did his first shift at Holland House last week and a I happened to catch this on the group chat amongst staff there. That made me chuckle.

Staff: – we have a lot of polite respectful residents today guys
Staff: – Defo something to do with a presence of a new staff member

Like I said a man of great stature and presence with a big heart just right for the job we do at Sanctuary trust.

Good luck in your new role at Sanctuary trust and it was a pleasure to get to know your family.

Tony McManus.
Crisis team coordinator
Sanctuary Trust.

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