Wood Street Heroes – Frank Shatliff

13th April 2022

In 2020 and 2021 we received the most dramatic delivery of presents that Wood Street has ever seen.  Frank Shatliff and his good friends have delivered toys to Wood Street in fabulous lorries and vintage vehicles that are decorated with fairy lights and towing Santa’s sleigh.

Tell us what made you want to support Wood Street Mission Frank?   

Every October my family collected toys in the run up to Christmas and we would donate 4 or 5 bags of toys to a Children’s Hospice.  I’d always known about Wood Street, since I was a child in fact, so decided that we’d start to support them at Christmas. 
I shared Facebook posts about the Christmas Appeal and had a great amount of interest from my community and the team from Prestwich Commercial Vehicle Road Run, Morrisons Whitefield and Tesco Prestwich.
From 2012-2018, I was the Chairman of Prestwich Carnival which introduced me to some great contacts who have all stayed in touch. Local supermarkets were more than happy for us to park up the lorries in their car parks to collect toys from customers.  This created a great impact as well as generating interest about the charity.  I also have a friend who runs the Your Bury Local magazine who kindly advertised the Toy Appeal – this resulted in us collecting 1,000 toys in 2020 so we were very eager to do it again in 2021.  I just feel that it’s so important to support others after all, “We’re all in it together”

What did you do to support our Christmas project in 2021?

As mentioned above our lorries always create plenty of interest from the public and with the supermarkets on board again, we set up camp in the car parks and once again collected a huge amount of toys.  Lots of supporters did know about Wood Street already, after all you are a well established charity with a good reputation.  Although I’m based in Prestwich, our community have links to Manchester too.  Historically when slums were closed in Manchester, people moved out to Prestwich and Whitefield.
We’re also well aware that social media is a big marketing tool for raising awareness and we were delighted to team up with Janet Thompson and Cheryl Wood at Holistic Approaches who helped with this too. They were great with creating marketing materials like pop-up banners etc. For me it really was a team effort and although my name is on this certificate, it’s for everyone involved including Janet, Richard, Craig, Dave, Dorothy, Morrison’s Whitefield and Tesco Prestwich.  Special mention really needs to be given to Richard Downing-Booth who travelled from his home in Stafford and made a big effort to be involved on the day of collection and delivery to Wood Street.

How did you involve Holistic Approaches and the Prestwich Commercial Vehicle Road Run?

Janet from Holistic Approaches also worked at Prestwich Carnival so was more than happy to get involved. As well as their support with marketing, they also made a company donation of toys.

What has been the most fun or rewarding part of supporting us?

It has to be that sense of satisfaction in helping children and families who are in this situation through no fault of their own.  Any one of us could find ourselves in a difficult situation so I think it’s vital we all work together to make a difference and help each other.  Being able to show people images of the activities Wood Street are involved in really helps to engage and secure their involvement.

 How did it feel to be supporting a small, independent, local charity? Did it help being able to see how you had made a difference, when dropping off the donations to us?

Absolutely, there’s a strong emotional value in seeing the Family Basics project in action, especially with the children’s clothing – it really brings it home. These are people just like you and me and they’re living in our communities.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about supporting Wood Street Mission with their friends or family or local community?

Get your community involved. Contact Wood Street and learn about what they do, you’ll see straight away why they need your support.