In a YouTube mini-movie, modern day rapping Salford kids re-enact Victorian urchins to make the point that the Wood Street Mission is as vital today as it was when first founded in 1869.
The Mission, near the John Rylands Library, off Deansgate in Manchester, serves Salford and Manchester projects to help local children and families affected by poverty.
A report out recently from Save The Children showed that 27% of children in Manchester are classed as living in severe poverty, while Salford Council's own figures show child poverty in this city at 60% (see here for full details).
The You Tube promo, called the Wood Street March, has a rap backing sandwiching a documentary narrative and a cool soundtrack. Produced by Suzi Hoffman and Mike Atherfold, with loads of support and backing by CRIS (Creative Industry In Salford), Salford Arts Theatre, Blueberry Theatre Company and a top bunch of Salford kids, the video merges old black and white photos of Mission fed kids with 21st Century images and techno effects.
"It's the 21st Century so it's hard to believe that here in one of the richest nations in the world there are still babies without a cot to sleep in or children who don't have a winter coat or school uniform…" states the narrator " and parents who go without regular meals because there isn't enough food to go round."
Shocking. Over the past six months, the Wood Street Mission has helped babies sleeping in shopping baskets or drawers because their parents can't afford a cot, children with nothing more to play with than a ball of blu-tack, and a little girl and her mother fleeing domestic violence who had nothing but the clothes on their backs. In 2010 over 13,000 children and parents were referred to the Mission for help.
The Wood Street Mission, thanks to donations and fundraising, provides good quality clothes, books, toys, brand new school uniforms, Christmas hampers and Easter treats. And it gets no government or public funding.
The Langworthy Cornerstone on the corner of Liverpool Street and Langworthy Road collects donated clothes and other items, while money donations can be made direct via the Wood Street Mission website – click here or go to www.woodstreetmission.org.uk
Or phone 0161 834 3140
To accompany the fundraising video for the Wood Street Mission is a short fun film called Hilda Goes To Town, featuring Suzi Hoffman, Mike Atherfold, Deborah Brookes and other Salford actors, with more support from Salford Arts Theatre and CRIS. See it by clicking here.