PACT House Stanley
How it all began
PACT house, in Stanley, was set up to be a one-stop shop for local people looking for practical and emotional support. All in a relaxed café-type environment.
The team provide a free community meal every Wednesday, cooked and served by volunteers. There are ‘no questions asked’ for those who cannot pay, who often choose to donate their time to wash up and clear away.
Fighting holiday hunger, and wider food insecurity is another key part of the mission. During school holidays the team offer free breakfasts for children, making sure that families who are struggling with the extra cost of feeding their children during the long holidays are helped with one free meal a day. They also provide a crisis foodbank, furniture and household items to people with nothing; and keep a small clothing bank for people in emergency situations.
Making a difference
We talked to a PACT visitor who once had everything he needed – family, home and a job – but losing his job resulted in him losing everything else that mattered and triggered mental health issues. By volunteering at PACT he has regained his confidence and is getting back on his feet. PACT has helped so many people in the same situation, and has become a trusted hub for the community; where people get the support they need and a chance to join in and give back too.
With thanks to you
One volunteer explained their story.
”My change of circumstances meant a new claim to Universal Credit resulting in my housing benefit being stopped. When I was out looking for work my landlady changed the locks on my door and I became homeless overnight. None of this was my fault. Housing options could not give me immediate support. Everything I owned in the world was in my flat, which I could not access. I approached PACT House and they gave me some food, emergency supplies and a tent for the night and we began the challenges around my statutory rights. It took two days and hours of support but eventually I was given an emergency payment from DWP. I now volunteer every Wednesday at the free community meal to give something back to PACT house, as without them I don’t know where I would be now.”