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“Come round to ours” – can you help Infinity Initiatives support those in need this festive season?
Friday 14th December 2018 @ 12:43 by Lauren Entwistle
Ashton Community Tameside

Infinity Initiatives are going the extra mile to ensure the most vulnerable in our community can celebrate a festive season that they might otherwise miss out on.

The service, which won the Health and Social Care accolade at the Pride of Tameside Business Awards, provides an advocacy and support service for anyone who needs it without long waiting lists or users having to fulfil certain criteria.

They cover multiple needs such as substance misuse, poverty, crime and housing with a number of projects including a Pay What You Can Café and drop-in sessions.

The team have been busy over the festive season, holding two “Children’s Afternoon Teas with Santa”, numerous gift stalls and extending their opening hours between Christmas and New Year.

But Infinity Initiatives are not stopping there, with everyone welcome to attend their “Come to Ours” event running from 5pm on New Year’s Eve right through to the afternoon of New Year’s Day for a “home from home” experience.

Jane Allighan, who is placement psychotherapist at the business, says that the team decided to take action after hearing so many stories of people dreading the Christmas period.

She said: “Christmas and New Year are traditionally seen as a time for celebration, happiness and company – but sadly we know this isn’t the case for everybody.

“We realised that ethically, we couldn’t just close our centre and go home knowing our communities need us more than ever.”

The 24-hour support-initiative is styled to feel like users are coming round to a friend’s house to enjoy the celebrations, with support workers, volunteers and trained listening staff available to help and signpost those who need it.

There will also be people to speak to online or on the telephone, quiet rooms and a separate cosy ‘lounge’ where guests can watch TV, read, play games or just unwind.

But as transport is notoriously expensive and difficult to get hold of on NYE, the Initiative is appealing for to help get those in need to and from their event.

Jane said: “We don’t want anyone to miss the event because they simply can’t afford to get to us or can’t get home afterwards.

“Similarly, if somebody wants to come but if being with people for too long doesn’t suit them psychologically or otherwise, we don’t want them to think they can’t come for fear of being stuck.”

Their “Infinity Dream Wish” is to offer a free service on the night from a local taxi firm who could donate a nominated driver to be there for the duration of the event, or to be able to call taxi’s from them for people free of charge as and when they are needed.

If you think you could help or would like to find out more about their work, get in contact with Infinity Initiatives through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/infinity.initiativesCIC/– or donate to their Christmas Justgiving page directly.