For Referrers

Are you working with a family on a low income that you think need a bit of extra help and support?

Do they live in Manchester or Salford?

Wood Street Mission helps support families living on a low income in Manchester and Salford, with practical support and services.

We can help families with children’s clothes, toys, bedding, baby equipment and toiletries through our Family Basics service, from our base here in Manchester City Centre.

Families can come along to our Book Clubs, to pick up books to take home and have a fun morning together each school holiday. Our SmartStart project can help with school uniform and other school kit, and at Christmas we can help with gifts for the children.

Christmas is an expensive time of year for all families but we know for the families we support it can be a time of worry, stress and upset to not be able to provide presents for your children to open on Christmas Day.

How Does It Work?

Families need to be referred to Wood Street by a professional who knows their circumstances well – for example, someone at the child or children’s school, a social worker, health visitor, midwife, or support worker. It is a simple process to refer a family you are working with:

  • Read our Family Referral Guidelines and fill in our Family Referral Form. This must be filled in by you with the knowledge of the family. 
  • Send the form to us by email to
  • Once we have received the form we will then contact the family or you to confirm receipt. We aim to do this within one to two days, depending on how busy we are.
  • The family then must call us to arrange an appointment, which will be on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, between 9.30am-12.30pm.
  • The family visit Wood Street for their appointment and choose items they need from our Family Basics room. Members of our team will be there to help, especially if it is their first visit.
  • The family can then receive help through Family Basics every three months, by appointment only. They can access all our other services for one year following their referral.

All our services are free for families to access, however we are a charity and rely on donations to provide the help we do, so cannot guarantee the level of support we can offer. Please can you help us in managing the expectations of families by explaining this when you refer them to us.

If you have any questions please give us a call on 0161 834 3140 or email

If the family you are working with needs help in an emergency please call us.

SmartStart, our free school uniform programme is back and orders will be accepted from Wednesday 1st May.
Last year, we distributed 3,199 uniform sets to our families, which comprised of 3 polo shirts or 4 shirts, 1 pair of trousers or a skirt and 1 sweatshirt per child. This service is for children between the ages of 4-16 who are living in Salford or Manchester and living in poverty.

Uniform is distributed on a first-come-first-served basis but there is only so much to go around so we recommend getting in touch and completing the forms as soon as possible following the launch date on 1st May.

In order to access this service each family must have;
· a current Wood Street Mission referral  
· a SmartStart order form for each child

*Please note SmartStart home delivery service is now finished – families can still access uniform by booking an appointment at family basics*

Please follow the guidance notes and return the forms to or  Alternatively you can post them to Wood Street Mission, 26 Wood Street, Manchester M3 3EF.

Please ring any of the team for advice or clarification if anything is not clear on 0161 834 3140.
We also really value your feedback on our SmartStart project and if you complete the feedback form, you will be entered into a prize draw for a £30 Rymans stationery voucher.