AN OPEN day that celebrated a shelter turning around the
lives of Tameside's homeless men for the last 24 years was
supported by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Fire officers and the community safety team joined Greystones as
GMFRS Tameside and the shelter embark on a closer working
relationship - which will hopefully mean those who use the centre
will be safer as they work towards independent living.
More than 200 people attended the event, which included a tree
planting in the centre's garden of reflection, the unveiling of a
bench in memory of former resident Anthony Nolan and the
presentation of certificates in IT and English that have been
achieved by students from Greystones.
Jax Effiong, GMFRS Tameside Community Safety Manager, said:
"Greystones runs an extensive programme of free workshops and
activities to provide lots of opportunities to tackle the barriers
to independent living. They also encourage residents to get
involved with outside, complementary agencies.
"Our firefighters and community safety team can support that
work tremendously as what we do is about so much more than putting
up smoke alarms. We will be supporting and working with Greystones
this year, as part of a bigger partnership agreement with Tameside
Council's Supporting People project.
"We work with those who might be more at risk of fire to give
them practical help and support to be safer in their own
accommodation and we also have specialists - such as community
safety advisors with a background in drug and alcohol advocacy - to
help people tackle the underlying issues, along with partners, that
make them more at risk of suffering a fire."
Cllr John Taylor, deputy leader of Tameside Council, who planted
a tree of life in the garden of reflection - a name chosen by
residents - said: "I spent many years as chair of social services,
so I already had a good idea of the great work done by Lisa
Shepherd and her team at Greystones."
During the afternoon, a bench was unveiled in memory of Anthony
Nolan, a former resident, and certificates in IT (from Alder Hyde
School, Hyde) and English (Stockport College) were presented to
students from Greystones.
A raffle was held and half the profits from the draw were
donated to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Greystones, which is on Mossley Road, Ashton, was founded by
Lisa Shepherd's parents, George and Elizabeth, in 1988.
Typical activities on offer include adult literacy and numeracy,
workshops in alcohol awareness, arts and crafts, IT and benefits, a
gardening Club, holistic therapy plus weekend games and