The lovely team over at the Mustard Tree Manchester homelessness charity have got a busy few weeks lined up in their newly-refurbished, hustling base over at 110 Oldham Street. After a busy summer of projects, including their grand opening, Fundraising and Communications Officer Rachel Trafford recently got back in touch with me about all the events they’ve got in the pipeline for this month. First off, the Mustard Tree is running several performances of the Guardian four-star rated play, ‘The History of Smack and Crack’. The play had a hugely successful run over the summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; it reportedly “damningly shows how the personal can be fatally political”, depicting how communities were traumatically affected by the poverty and heroin epidemic during the height of Thatcherism. The playwright Ed Edwards offers “an angry, funny love-song to a lost generation”. The performances will be acted out on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th November over at their venue on Oldham Street and Mustard Tree is publicly offering the opportunity to volunteer in aid of homelessness and assist with these performances.
When I first met Rachel back in March (leading up to our event Easy on the Dijon’s debut), I quickly learnt that the charity has a unique approach to combating the growing homelessness epidemic in Manchester. The team understand the value of progression by offering creative and practical opportunities for tackling the crisis and poverty more generally. They aim to “provide a safe and supportive community where people can express themselves” which, in the long run, will lead to “sustainable life changes” through an increase in self-confidence and self-belief. The charity thrives off the work of a core team but voluntary assistance is vital; with the upcoming performances of ‘The History of Smack and Crack’, Mustard Tree are calling for a few extra helpers to get involved. Being a part of the Mustard Tree community is an invaluable experience with their artistic endeavours beautifully adding to the cultural vibrancy of the city as well as expanding the scale of the work that can be carried out by the team!
If you are keen to get involved with assisting the performances over next month, be sure to get in touch with Anoushka.firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com – providing your details and the dates you would be available. The team are looking for around 5 people to help out each night – you would need to arrive before 6 pm and stay until the end of the performance which will finish up at around 9 pm. The Mustard Tree will provide you with a t-shirt and refreshments in the evening. Feel free to ask any other questions to the email addresses above!
Funraising first connected with the Mustard Tree for our Easy on the Dijon event debut back in March which raised £800 for the charity. A fun night of acid house beats and mad visuals at Night People meant we were able to contribute to the essential work the Mustard Tree does to provide care, support and most notably, both creative and practical opportunities for the growing homelessness community in Manchester. And we’re about to do it all over again. Get ready for Easy on the Dijon 2.0 which is slamming back into Night People on Saturday the 17th of November.
Help us get the ball rolling by donating to our crowdfunding… link coming soon!