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Goodbye 2021

The last 12 months have been tough, but so rewarding at Backup. The only C word(s) I am going to mention here is consistency, collaboration, charity, campaigns and calendar.

The numbers post lockdowns of young people being referred and accommodated have increased as expected. The work with them has gone back to including home visits, group work, accompanied off site support to other venues, social activities and more. Backup colleagues have delivered more and more support and achieved great outcomes as a result. To do this we have worked in partnership with multiple agencies from all sectors, locally and regionally. Collaboration is key. In September we launched a programme of continuous improvement called Back to Basics; 18 months of planned conversations, feedback and plans to improve consistent service user experience, outcomes and staff satisfaction.

Funding has been provided to us by DWP, Henry Smith, Big Lottery, TCS, Standing Together, St James Place and Warburtons and between them they have awarded us £556,000. (2 of the larger grants are for 3 years.) This paying for various projects and posts across the organisation. 

Other income has been secured with fundraising events taking place again, Ladies Lunch in November secured £7,000 and the Golf Day in July – just over £6,000. Guardians have grown in number from 22 to 32 this year, each contributing £500 to a fund only used for young people in crisis, no running costs or admin is deducted from this. 

Backup held its annual event in October and was attended by 150 people. Young people wowed them all with their amazing video on inclusion and diversity as well as one young woman performing for us with her incredible and haunting singing. She reduced most of us to tears. These videos and other information about what we do and have done is on our brand new website launched last month. If you are reading this then you are on it anyway!

The Mayor of Bolton selected us as one of her charities this year (for the second time) and so we have been represented at numerous events but she has also gone that extra mile and got involved with ours.  Councillor Linda Thomas has proven she will put her money where her mouth is and even dressed up to pose with me as ABBA for the Backup Charity calendar. (still for sale at a reduced price on the website) Many of you also undertook other activities to help Backup, we were invited to Bolton Fashion Festival and I met Heather Small ( I was in heaven ) and we have attended Christmas Markets, Networking Events, Conferences and Car Shows.



The year also brought some external validation of our achievements as an employer with a successful Investors in People audit. Furthermore, we were shortlisted in 3 of the IiP global awards; Employer of the Year, Third Sector and Leader of the Year. I won the Leader of the Year which was amazing.  Just let that sink in, Backup, a charity, from Bolton – nominated and shortlisted in global awards. WTH!!

If things weren’t busy enough we have also opened 2 new schemes. Redds Place opened in July 2021 and the Loft House opened in December 2021. Read all about them on the website.

The generosity of people this year has been immense. From donations of money, gifts, raffle and auction prizes, time, food or dressing up as rock stars we have been truly blessed with peoples love and support. You have supported our events, on and off line, promoted our campaigns, volunteered on or used The Van and shared our information on social media platforms, keeping our profile live and relevant. The ten tin challenge yielded our biggest ever contributions; all for young people during winter and at Christmas. We have had over 2000 items donated into that campaign – not just tinned beans either, lots of lovely and adventurous things young people can cook. Thanks for purchasing our merchandise and the new Cooking with Maura recipes launched this year also. I hope some of you have tried the curries.

Why? Why bother?

So we can help more people like B.

“B” arrived at Redds after sleeping in a tent for a number of weeks due to a family breakdown, he was 17 years old. On arrival he had no I.D. no income and limited clothing (just what he stood in). Redds supported him in applying for ID, a bank account and benefits. We also registered him with the local GP and bought him some basic clothing, provided food and hot evening meals. Once his benefits were in payment, we supported him with budgeting and assessed his independent living skills. He successfully moved on to a dispersed property with Backup.

Whilst we are busy planning 2022, our 30th year it’s time to reflect on and say goodbye to, 2021. Many 100’s of young people are better off and a handful are literally still alive, as a result of being supported by Backup. I would say that means for Backup, it’s been a bloody good year.​​​


Backup Charity values infographic

What We Do!

BACKUP provide multiple services across Bolton to young people aged 16-25 years who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness. Read here about all the supported accommodation which includes emergency housing, temporary accommodation, short and medium stay supported housing. Also the non accommodation based support work that focusses on mental health, employment support and much more.

Young people can live in more than one Backup service as they make progress and develop more independence prior to moving on completely. The different services are designed to meet various levels and ranges of needs.


This year
we accomodated

young people

Our Events

Every year Backup delivers multiple events for fundraising. Each one is designed to raise awareness and much needed money to support young people who are homeless. Annually we have our core events; Gala Ball, Golf Day and Ladies Lunch. We also have other events that are different each year so that we can have a wider appeal to all.

Fundraising and Events

Back Up North West's cartoon character called Charlie