This May Xaverian played host to the Cornerstone Big Sleep Out…2019 which has so far raised £29,935.50!!!!! Cornerstone Day Centre provides a safe and warm environment in which the homeless of Manchester can access their services. As a day centre, they serve breakfast, hot lunches, sandwiches, tea and coffee throughout the day. They also provide shower and laundry facilities, clothing shop, free haircuts and a computer suite to help clients apply for jobs, housing, benefits and immigration. They help people facing a wide range of issues including homelessness, poverty, social isolation, mental health problems, and drug and alcohol addiction.
It is an integral part of the Xaverian Mission that all members of our community seek to help the most vulnerable in our society and for generations our staff and students have done this with the utmost zeal, humility and compassion. Through fundraisers, donations of all sorts and by volunteering our time, our community has reached out to the homeless of Manchester by support this incredible and very worthy charity. We were thrilled that this year we were able to increase our support by offering our grounds in aid of Cornerstone’s Safe Haven Project.
The Safe Haven pods, provided by Cornerstone through donations raised by the Big Sleep Out, serve rough sleepers and those experiencing destitution so that they can have a roof over their heads, showers and hot meals in the evening. Every night, Cornerstone can accommodate up to 30 people in these temporary shelters, which is so vital, especially as a winter provision during the cold weather months.
On Friday 17th May, the gates of the Xaverian Campus were thrown open to welcome in over 120 volunteers from across the Diocese of Salford, who spent the night sleeping rough on our fields so that they may gain a better understanding of what it is like to sleep without shelter. Thankfully, the weather stayed dry throughout the night as Xaverian’s Principal, Tony Knowles, and his team patrolled the campus ensuring that the volunteers were safe and had an enjoyable time, raising money and awareness for such an amazing charity.
In the morning, Bishop John Arnold celebrated a very moving Mass in our Chapel and all volunteers were rewarded with a hot breakfast. Cornerstone thanked Xaverian with a post on their Facebook page which said… “A huge big thank you to the team at Xaverian College Manchester for hosting our Big Sleep Out…! Especially to Principal Tony Knowles, Esther the lovely Chaplain, Vice Principal (not head of house keeping ?!) Mr Simon Channell, and to all teachers and members of staff who have been keeping us safe and well fed all night ??? Hope you all can have some sleep now… ?
We cannot wait to host the Big Sleep Out again next year. You can donate to Cornerstone by clicking HERE