Manchester: children's charity opens pilot drop-in centre

 The Catholic Children's Rescue Society, one of the longest established social welfare organisations in the North West, is to open a new community drop-in centre at St Malachy's Roman Catholic Primary School in Manchester. The centre will offer practical help, advice and services to parents, children and young people from Collyhurst and surrounding areas. It will be run by the Society's Case Work Supervisor, Sister Rita Lee, and a team of part-time volunteers. Several local firms have contributed to the project. Founded in 1886 and covering the RC Diocese of Salford from Clitheroe to Manchester, the Catholic Children's Rescue Society (CCRS) head office is in Didsbury; sites in Blackburn, Bolton, Central Manchester, Stockport and Rochdale, and charity shops in Chorlton and Harpurhey. With a Christian ethos that values all people irrespective of race, religion, disability or social condition, it seeks to promote the physical, spiritual or social welfare of disadvantaged children and families, providing high quality services to those who would not otherwise receive help and support. "We strongly believe that no young people or children should be allowed to fall into the gaps that are left when the state fails to provide adequate support or families falter in their parental responsibilities," said Director, Kathy Batt. "We are always looking at how we can deliver our services more effectively and felt that a drop-in centre of this kind, in an economically disadvantaged area of the city, might better serve those who couldn't make it to our normal centres, because of travel or time difficulties. So for this pilot project, we are moving out into the community, rather than expecting the community to come to us." "Everyone is welcome, from every faith, from birth to a hundred," said Sister Lee. "If people are in trouble, suffering a loss or bereavement, having problems at home or are simply lonely and want some company, we want them to simply drop in. We'll offer practical help and advice where we can, calling upon the Society's family support and social work services where appropriate, or otherwise try to point them in the right direction for specialist help."

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