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Read anonymised case studies sharing how Real Change MCR can support people to make long term changes to their lives.

Bryan's story

Your pennies helped Bryan get a place his daughter could come and visit.

Bryan (name changed to protect identities) was living with his young child and partner when the relationship broke down. The family home wasn’t in Bryan’s name and, forced to leave, he started sleeping rough. He did find temporary accommodation but an increasingly volatile relationship with his ex led to him losing that.

He felt hopeless. Shame at his circumstances stopped him seeing his child. Existing mental health issues flared up. He slept in the city centre for several months before getting support from the BMHC charity who tailored a support plan with him to put the basics in place. He now has a GP, bank account and he meets drug and alcohol services weekly. He’s taking medication for his mental health and has started seeing his daughter again.

Bryan made it a priority that wherever he moved, it had to be somewhere suitable for his child to visit and stay over.

The Real Change MCR difference:

Real Change MCR made it possible for Bryan to shop around for the most appropriate home available for his child to visit and stay at. 

It was furnished, and extra Real Change MCR funding covered a months’ rent and deposit, the child’s bedding and kitchen equipment needed to look after his child well.

Real Change MCR meant Bryan could bring his child to a decent home, rather than just an accommodation unit. 

Without Real Change MCR, as a man on Universal Credit, Bryan had no chance of moving to his own place, which he’s held now for a whole year, with growing confidence in his own independence.

Bryan’s relationship with his child has strengthened too, and there’s no doubt that it was Real Change MCR funding that won him the home – the room he needed – to mend their lives together.

Jarek's story

Your pennies helped Jarek get a job and career helping others.

Jarek (name changed to protect identities) was determined to improve both his English and his life, and was juggling part-time work and a language course when a shift-change at work forced him to choose between college and work.

He chose college, but things started going wrong when Jarek fell out with the friend he was staying with. At first, other friends, from Church, let him ‘sofa-surf’ but Jarek felt he was becoming a burden to them.

His self-confidence and his mood were sinking fast when the Booth Centre, where he went during the days, put him in touch with supported housing charity Stop Start Go (SSG).

SSG supported Jarek to work on a plan centred on his mental health and finding a home.

He registered with a local GP and – building on his self-improvement strengths — he enrolled on a ‘tenancy training’ course to improve his chances of getting social housing in future.

With his GP, Jarek agreed to come off mental health medication now he was in supported accommodation — he was addressing his needs, and his low mood was starting to improve.

When Jarek shared his hopes – with SSG staff – of becoming an emergency paramedic, we encouraged him: first he passed a first-aid course. His confidence soared and he soon felt ready to return to college. Level 3 English and Maths led to Level 3 St Johns Ambulance Volunteer. His next step is a university degree in Paramedic Science.

Charlie's story

Charlie (name changed to protect identities) was a full-time roofer until a knee injury suddenly put him out of work. Keen to provide for himself, he started at a call centre just before COVID struck – and his new firm went bust.

As a private renter on Universal Credit, Charlie had no chance of paying the full rent and he lost his home.

With no family to turn to, he began drinking with alcoholics to see him through a period of rough sleeping in Cringle Fields Park and Crowcroft Park. His drinking began to spiral out of control.

Volunteers at the homeless charity, Coffee 4 Craig, encouraged Charlie to take the support they could plug him into, to get back on track. This included a referral to Greater Manchester’s A Bed Every Night programme through housing support charity Stop Start Go (SSG).

Before he moved into his supported housing, SSG worked with Charlie to create a support plan focused on his misuse of alcohol. He registered with a GP and met weekly with the addiction treatment centre CGL (Change Grow Live). Charlie worked hard to control his drinking and is now completely off alcohol – keeping up regular contact with the service.

The Real Change MCR difference:

When Charlie was ready to move on from supported housing, Real Change MCR funding meant SSG staff could work with him to find the kind of stable and decent home he needed to make sure his hard work overcoming dependency would stick.

Together they found a one-bedroom flat, and thanks to Real Change MCR, Charlie could pay his deposit and first month’s rent. 

A bedding and kitchenware pack means that Charlie now has a home that he can settle into and maintain.

Charlie has now been living independently for over a year. He says the support he got from Real Change MCR made it possible for him to find hope, control his addiction and fund the stable home he needs to get back into the job market. 

“What happened to me, could happen to anyone,” he said. And he’s now determined to build on Real Change MCR’s support by getting back into work and getting on with his life.