In 2017 we launched a Guardian Scheme at Backup. What is this?

Well it’s not guardians in a legal sense, or in a literal sense either. It’s a patron, sponsor, supporter. We hadn’t done this kind of thing before so it was new. We capped the fee at £500 a year to a) test the waters and b) make it accessible. This meant that I personally could become a Guardian and pay monthly by Standing Order. That made me feel loads better when asking others for cold, hard cash as I was already doing it myself.

The money, every penny, goes towards items given directly to young people. No admin, no running costs, no fees.

Food, toiletries, cleaning products which we provide for everyone moving in costs around £80 per person. We sign up 250+ people a year. Some have no ID, no ID means no benefits, no bank account, no job applications and so on. We pay for standard birth certificates. Travel expenses and equipment for college, clothing and shoes are all items needed by some young people that move in. Some young folks move in with the contents of Steptoes yard; and their possessions - after all the rejection and loss mean a lot to them so we pay for cheap man and van removals.

The absence of everything here would make life very difficult.  How would you reACT?

The impACT of your £500 means that we have the freedom to purchase items that are a necessity but aren’t a contrACTual requirement of our core accommodation service. We could go to food banks, other charities for things but this wouldn’t be consistently available, or readily accessible and we couldn’t provide this as a standard to all our young residents.

Material items like food, toilet rolls and sanitary products are vital, shampoo and fairy liquid it could be argued less so but imagine moving in to a new strange place against your will, it’s temporary and you are traumatized, and you have no money, no ID so no bank account, no food, no clothes or shoes except what you have on. It doesn’t matter how clean the flat is, how nice the carpet is and that you have a brand new bed you will be anxious and panicking.

It’s the feeling we are focused on, the overall experience. We want to eradicate that sense of fear and anxiety as soon as possible.  When we give a young person three or four carrier bags with food and cleaning things they literally ACT like it is Christmas morning. Some are overwhelmed. It is a small ACT with a huge impACT.

This is what being a Guardian means.

For you, you become special friends of Backup and we try and develop relationships with everyone who supports us. We are not the type to take your money and move on without a backward glance. We offer you first chance at sponsorship and event attendance opportunities, you get a free ticket to the Gala Ball, we invite you to 2 events a year with young people (for example, ten pin bowling) and it’s an eye opener for them and you to see that the young people you’ve supported are ordinary but what you’ve done for them is extraordinary. It can also be a chance to network. With your consent we promote you and your business across our social media and website. So we can give you a good feeling about life and the taxman appreciates your donation too. You get a lovely plaque to display (a bit like a blankety blank cheque book and pen!) and you can sleep soundly knowing your money is having a direct impACT on a minimum of 5 young homeless people. 

Guardians can be businesses, organisations, couples, individuals or anyone wanting to help.

Thanks very much to all the current Guardians.

  • Amity Law
  • Awk Computers Ltd
  • Bolton at Home
  • Boo Coaching and Consulting Ltd
  • Carroll & Partners/Caroll Hollman Insurance Brokers
  • Cura Accounting
  • Dani Wallace
  • Environmental Leadership Ltd
  • Fieldings Porter Solicitors
  • Hill Johnstone Wealth Management
  • Irwell Valley Housing Association
  • JOG Consultancy
  • Kathryn Wilkinson Wealth Management Ltd
  • Key Control Services
  • Ladderstore
  • Lady Showbiz Karen Yates
  • Lisa Forshaw PR
  • Maura Jackson and Ian Stockley
  • Perpetual Fostering; Tahir and Mina Khan
  • Phil Garlington Photographer
  • Smarter Technologies
  • STIGMA Jordan Wilson
  • SureStore
  • University of Bolton
  • Wall to Wall Carpets
  • Window World Ronnie and Suzy Orr (Chorley)

Some are new, some have been in since the start and some have joined along the way. Some not shown here joined and gave what they could when they could over the last 5 years. ALL share a common theme, recognizing the value of the work Backup does and a willingness to want to make a positive difference to young people; where it counts. They took ACTion.

What’s my ask? ACT.

A - Assist young people who are homeless to keep their dignity

C - Commit to a £500 payment, one off or monthly

T – Tackle youth homelessness




guardians (plural noun)

  1. a person who protects or defends something.

"self-appointed guardians of public morality"


protector · defender · preserver · champion · custodian · warden · guard · keeper · conservator · curator · caretaker · steward · trustee · supervisor


It doesn’t matter how it’s defined or interpreted. Guardians of the Galaxy are Superheroes; Guardians of Backup are too. Put your cape on OR put your underpants on over your trousers and feel good.

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