Is this a slow news day or what? Nah, there's never a slow news day in Salford. And the formal opening of a washing machine in Eccles is going to be pretty significant for some of the most excluded people in the city.
The Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre (SUCRC) has, for a number of years, been providing a breakfast club for the homeless, ex-offenders and poor, as well as giving out clothes and socks, and helping with housing and benefit issues.
However, staff noticed that some people using the Centre didn't smell too savoury and made it a 'priority' to sort it 'so that those living in total poverty with only one set of worn out clothing, normally smelling, could actually wash their clothes'.
"We totally understand the problems in society which create and cause poverty; the small amount of benefits paid out and the massive hoops that poor people have to get over or round just to be able to feed themselves" says SUCRC Centre manager Alec McFadden "So feeding and heating are the first priority, buying clothes and keeping them clean come a long way down the list.
"The washing machine will be available five days per week for our poverty stricken clients" he adds "We will first train them to be able to use the machine then book them into the daily booking system so that their clothes will in future be clean."
The washing machine was bought from part of a £2,065 donation from the Sherriff Trust which deals with the proceeds of crime across Greater Manchester. The much needed funding was won via a bid by representatives of the local community police who had visited the Centre's Prison Project and expressed support.
Three PCSOs were present to cut the ribbon at the opening, which was also attended by clients of the Centre, Yvonne Edison, Salford UNISON's Woman's Officer and SUCRC staff and volunteers.
"I thought it was tremendous" said PCSO Nigel Kirk "What was especially rewarding is the fact that it was a positive example of the local community and the Police Service working together for the benefit of vulnerable people in our area."
While the washing machine provides a nice spin on the plight of the poor, the Centre is well aware that the DIY laundry is just a symptom of what is going on...
"We are the fourth emergency service in Salford, but the real emergency is ending austerity and the DWP system and rules that cause such misery in our society, and providing enough homes to end homelessness" McFadden explains "Our Centre will carry on fighting to save lives and improve the quality of the lives of the needy in Salford. It's great to gain new allies such as the community police, trade unions and community groups."
If anyone knows anybody who might need to use the washing machine just get in touch with the Centre on 0161 789 2999