So Who Are We?
The Tree of Life Centre currently operates from our site at Greenbrow road, Newall Green, Wythenshawe.
The roots of the Tree of Life are its Community Shop, which was established in 1984 through the collection of unwanted furniture through a partner church – The Wilmslow United Reformed Church – that was sold at locally affordable rates in St Marks United Reformed Church hall.
Thus began a church and community project, which has since grown and developed in response to the needs of the deprived community in which it is located. In 1996, the health awareness and promotion elements of the Centre were sprouted. By January 2002, both the community shop and the community health and well-being services were brought together under a management committee as the Tree of Life Centre, as a standalone charity.
In 2010, having secured funding from The Big Lottery Fund, we opened our second branch in the Newall Green area of Wythenshawe. Formerly a primary school, the Greenbrow road site has transformed to become a furniture re-use shop and centre for the local community, with a café and foyer area signposting information from the NHS, Manchester city council, advisory services etc. We have many plans afoot for this building, so watch this space.
In 2015 the decision was made after much deliberation over a lengthy period, that the organisation should return to a single-site operating model.
Over the past five years, the charity has been heavily dependent on its reserves and external grant funding, this model is simply unsustainable.
It was decided to continue operations from the Greenbrow Road site for reasons of financial viability, capacity, investment, flexibility and future potential. The building offers us the maximum chance of continuing successfully into the future. We hope to continue to work in partnership with The Dandelion Community at St Mark’s.