Extending the olive branch: the Salford community group battling the economic crisis

A family-run community group based in Salford has pledged to continue their support to local people struggling during the cost-of-living crisis.

The Olive Branch Hub offers hot meals, food parcels and group activities to those who need them every Wednesday.

Jess Hogan, one of the group’s co-founders in 2019, described how there is a desperate need for this level of support in the area.

She said: “There’s a lot of old people coming now and they actually travel quite far to get here.

“Obviously, they’re getting a free cooked meal, the food bank if they need it, and we play things like bingo.”

Photos taken from facebook page with Jess’ permission

As well as being a financial haven during the tumultuous past few years, the Hub also acts as a social network for people who would otherwise be isolated for large parts of their weeks.

Ms Hogan said: “It’s an all day thing for somebody to have a chat and have something to eat.

“For those possibly struggling with money a bit, as well as their mental health, it’s just a place for them to go.”

Having cared for up to fifty people every week, the pandemic tempered the outreach for the hub, but new locations are now being sought after to accommodate their growing numbers.

“It’d be better to have our own facilities because we’re quite limited at the church hall, but that’s definitely something for the future,” Mrs Hogan explained.

The Olive Branch Hub can be found at St James’s Church Hall in Salford, Wednesdays 11am-4pm, and can be contacted via their website.

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