ASHTON and Failsworth MP Angela Rayner has visited the Town House in Ashton to see how the recently opened facility is helping to drive down homelessness across the borough.

The Town House – named in honour of local landlady Pauline Town who provides food and support for those in need from The Station pub every day - forms part of a wider innovative approach by the council’s Homelessness Team which has seen a significant drop in rough sleeping.

A rough sleeper count on Thursday July 9, 2020, found no-one sleeping rough in Tameside for the first time in ten years.

Angela was given a tour of the building, which is based in the former St Anne’s Primary School next to St Anne’s Church in Burlington Street, before meeting staff and men and women who access the services on offer.

She said: “I was delighted to meet people who have been given support at the Town House that really has transformed their lives. They have gone from living on the streets and feeling like they have no hope and nothing to live for to dealing with their addictions and being shown that they can achieve whatever they want with the right help and encouragement.

“The Town House is much more than a homeless hostel. The staff know that those who access the facility need more than a short term, temporary solution. They need long-term guidance to overcome the issues that led them to be rough sleepers so they have a real chance of a better future.”

As well as several rooms set up to provide overnight accommodation, the Town House is home to the homelessness service, other charitable and voluntary groups and the catholic diocese to offer a range of support measures for people in crisis.

There is also a community café, which provides meals for hostel residents, together with preparation of food parcels and pre-prepared meals for vulnerable people across Tameside. A food and clothing bank operates from the ground floor and laundry facilities are available.

The ground floor also contains rooms suitable for counselling, mental and physical health assessments, welfare rights assessments and drug rehabilitation work.