Over 5000 people across Greater Manchester are sleeping rough. A small group of Middleton men wanted to make a change.
By Katie Parry.
Two months ago, three Middleton men went to Manchester to feed the homeless. This grew into an organisation that goes out every Monday in a bid to support people living on the streets of Manchester.
Daniel Goodier, 30, was motivated to help after reading an article about a homeless man who had died in the freezing Manchester City Centre.
His name was John Wrench. He was 25 years old.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said John had been offered help but would not accept it.
Daniel, founder of ‘Cold Hands Warm Hearts, said: “It was seeing the young lad passing away. I just thought ‘you know what, why can’t we do something about it?’”
“It was just me, Jamie Lilley and Michael Donoghue. We went out a few days later after finding out the young lad passed away.
“I used the power of Facebook. I put a status on with something along the lines of ‘it’s freezing out, we have to do something about this. Can a few of us get together and maybe get some food made up, and go to Manchester and help these poor people who are freezing to death?
“We didn’t know where we were going. It was COVID. Nobody was on the streets. No cars were out.”
The first night the three went out, they fed about 10 people.
That’s when the idea for ‘Cold Hands Warm Hearts’ came up.
“I personally just want to base it around feeding the homeless, clothing the homeless,” said Daniel. “I’m not a councillor. I just want to make sure they’ve got a full belly, and they’re warm at night.”
The foundation now has about 20 volunteers. Daniel said people reached out to him on Facebook and asked to help.
They go out once a week, sometimes twice. Monday is their main night.
“We deliver food and clothes and we make hot brews,” said Daniel.
“We’re just testing the waters. There are other homeless groups out there and we’ve spoke to them and said, ‘Monday night is gonna be our night’.”
On a typical Monday, Cold Hands Warm Hearts meet at 5:15pm at Storage World in Middleton, where they get their stock.
They then go to Harper Hay, which is on the way to Manchester.
“I’d say there’s about seven to ten homeless there,” said Daniel. “It’s quite a hot spot for homeless because there’s a big Asda there, a McDonald’s and a garage.
“They tend to sit outside these places to beg for money or food. They expect us.”
The volunteers then head to Manchester City Centre.
Daniel said: “We give our main bulk out at the bottom of Market Street. From half 6 onwards, the homeless know that we’re there at that time.”
“They’re waiting there for us every week.
“We hand out pizzas, we hand out chocolate, we hand out sandwiches made from kind people. We’re giving out toiletries as well now.”
There is just one thing that is holding them back. And that is they are not a registered charity yet.
“My friend said it’s like having a treasure chest without the key,” said Daniel.
“There’s so many organisations that want to give us money, but we can’t have it yet because we’re not registered.
“As soon as we do get registered, we can have these massive amounts coming in.”
Daniel and co-founder Jamie Lilley started a £5000 fundraiser a couple of weeks after they started the organisation.
When they hit their target, they will be eligible to become a registered charity.
Daniel says the first thing he’d like to do once they are able to spend the 5k is to buy bulk items.
“Sometimes we fall short on things like sleeping bags, deodorants, underwear”, said Daniel.
“I’d buy it so we don’t have to ask people for it.”
So far, the organisation have raised over £4000.
Daniel also says a big aim of his is to try and stand on the pitch of Old Trafford or City’s Ground and speak about the charity to thousands of people.
Donations to the group’s fundraiser can be made here.