Former Stoke manager credits in-pod TVs as ‘biggest help of all’ during lockdown

Matthew Cooper

Former Stoke City manager Lou Macari has thanked supporters of his shelter for the homeless – and described individual glamping pods fitted with televisions as the “biggest help of all” during lockdown.

The ex-Manchester United and Celtic star opened a shelter in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, in 2016, but moved premises to accommodate 46 individual pods due to the Covid pandemic.

The facility – replacing dormitory-style accommodation – is housed inside a warehouse and provides meals, clothing and an address to residents.

Lou Macari homeless shelter
Mr Macari described the in-pod TVs as the “biggest help of all” during lockdown (Jacob King/PA)

Mr Macari said of the pods, which have their own number above the door: “I think the biggest thing of all – they have got televisions.

“They retire to their place at night. We don’t hear from them, they keep themselves to themselves.

“I’ve got to say the televisions in particular have been the big difference. When we first opened and they were in the pods, I thought they had all left me because I could hear a pin drop.

Lou Macari homeless shelter
Mr Macari opened the shelter in 2016 (Jacob King/PA)

“There was silence.

“That’s been a big help to them – they see now what’s going on in the world on a daily basis, and they see other things that as homeless people they’ve probably never seen before because you don’t walk about the streets with a television in your bag.”

More than 40 televisions were donated to the shelter by the League Managers Association, via its sponsor LG.

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