Mustard Tree: our chosen charity for 2018


Mustard Tree exists because chronic poverty, extreme inequality and severe disadvantage exist, and have been providing critical services to those impacted by poverty and homelessness in Greater Manchester for over two decades.


You only need to walk around Manchester city centre at the moment to see the rise in the number of people rough sleeping. In fact, rough sleeping increased by 15% towards the end of last year – and it is still rising. There are over 28,000 people on the social housing list and around one in five Greater Manchester residents are experiencing the effects of extreme poverty. This should not be the case. Clearly something is wrong.

By supporting Mustard Tree this Manchester Beer Week, you are making a difference. You can help us to meet this challenge.

Mustard Tree is a place of welcome to people who don’t feel welcome elsewhere. Mustard Tree creates opportunities for people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or in poverty to help themselves.

All under one roof, practical support with clothing, food and furniture is provided especially for people who may have just secured a tenancy to make a house a home. Structured volunteer programmes mean people can get involved in the enterprise side of Mustard Tree, helping our charity run day-to-day as Freedom Volunteers receiving vocational training and learning opportunities such as IT, English and Customer Service. Creative programs like art, textiles and music production create opportunities to discover or follow a passion. Friendship and community creates a supportive safe space to increase confidence and self-worth to allow people to move forward.

On behalf of everyone at Mustard Tree – thank you! Your support is so vital to invest in our communities across Greater Manchester and return hope and self-confidence to those experiencing poverty and homelessness.

To find out more visit the Mustard Tree website.



Some people are born with opportunity. Some people are not. But anyone can find theirs at Mustard Tree.

Mustard Tree welcomes people from across Greater Manchester to Community Shops in Ancoats, Eccles and Little Hulton, offering access to low-cost food through the Food Club, clothing and household furniture and essentials. This is the open door into the Mustard Tree community.

Poverty and inequality are increasing. In the last quarter of 2017 rough sleeping in Greater Manchester increased by 15%, with no sign of slowing down - a stark consequence of the region’s housing shortage. There are over 28,000 people on the social housing waiting list, and the alternative of securing private rented accommodation is closed to people in poverty. Only one borough offers rent of £450 or less pcm (judged to be affordable housing for people on low income/benefits).

Furniture provision to make a house a home is so important for people to keep their tenancies, alongside budgeting and finance management. People visible on our streets is just the tip of the iceberg of homelessness and poor living situations and temporary accommodation hides thousands of ‘hidden homeless’. By intervening and supporting at these key points, Mustard Tree aims to prevent homelessness and build futures away from poverty for good.

People without the opportunity to develop skills are left unable to secure a sustainable income, and at high risk of being made homeless. 90% of Mustard Tree’s client group are long-term unemployed, with little formal education and few skills, coming from areas of Manchester and Salford within the top 10% most deprived wards of the UK.

Alongside practical support, structured volunteer programmes mean people can get involved in the enterprise side of Mustard Tree helping our charity run day-to-day as Freedom Volunteers. They help to run successful charity shops, furniture collection/distribution, a professional kitchen and also a metals recycling and flat clearance project in Salford. Vocational training is part of the volunteering program and finding work placements for those who wish to set employment as their goal. The ability to contribute time and skills to help others and see the difference you can make is so important for improving self-esteem.

Friendship, community and meaningful activity provide health and wellbeing improvement, alongside learning opportunities in courses and classes. For around 200 people a year, creative programs, such as art, drama and music production tackle poverty of experience and social isolation, plus opportunities to engage with cultural activities. Personal achievement increases confidence and self-worth. By investing in people, Mustard Tree unleashes their ability to contribute and progress.

Mustard Tree’s job isn’t easy. People who join the organisation can be in poor physical and mental health with multiple issues and low aspiration. But by using best practices, gallons of compassion and patience, strong relationships can develop gently in a place of mutual trust and people’s needs can be addressed. Financial support allows them to invest in their services, our communities and reach more people to return hope and self-confidence to those experiencing poverty and homelessness in Greater Manchester.

Twitter: @MustardTreeMCR
Facebook: Mustard Tree
To donate via JustGiving, text MUTR17 £10 to 70070