How we started and how we developed into the service we provide today.
It was the winter of 1989/1990 and the congregation of Sheffield Cathedral increasingly noticed that men sat in the Cathedral, seemingly for shelter.
Initially the Cathedral offered a simple breakfast but soon had aspirations to provide activities and to try and address some of the issues people who were homeless presented.
Initially, two projects started. The Cathedral Breakfast Project met in the Cathedral Hall and The Archer Project met offsite, a place for people to sit, do some activities or talk about the issues they faced. In 1996 both were registered as one charity, The Cathedral breakfast and Archer Projects Ltd.
In 2000 the Cathedral Hall became uninhabitable so the project moved, led by a brass band to a two-up, two-down house with portacabins at the rear, opposite Sheffield’s Fire Museum. Sheffield Cathedral built a new centre as part of an extension and in March 2007 the Project moved.
Later in 2007 the project changed its name, dropping ‘breakfast’ from its title. Many believed all we did was provide a free breakfast and we wanted to change that perception. 2007 was also the year we started to take marketing seriously. Too few people knew we existed and to survive we needed more people to support the work that we do.
The gradual increase in funds has allowed us to continually develop our services.
We have been able to increase the activities people can do, involve people who use the project in volunteering and, more recently, provide employment opportunities for people who have been homeless.
A key feature of the project since its inception has been working with other services. Today the centre is a hub for ourselves and other services, a one-stop shop for people who need support.
Around 20 other services use the project to provide services including medical, drug outreach, accommodation, benefits advice and probation outreach.
Now we aim to provide a service that supports individuals from sleeping bag to employment.Not just providing breakfast, lunch and food parcels but the support individuals need to live a fulfilling and enjoyable life.
This work has encouraged as much as possible throughout the Covid-19 and indeed the multi-agency work has been vital in continuing to provide support to homeless and vulnerable adults in Sheffield.