We Love MCR Charity created the Community Response Fund to meet needs created or exacerbated by the pandemic. The Appeal was launched on 24 March 2020, and today we are proud to announce the progress so far. Please read on to see not just how much we’ve done, raised & awarded – but also a brief snapshot of the issues we’re alleviating and examples of groups funded.


Key Headlines after 4 weeks of the Fund:


  • 118 grants awarded
  • £356,476 awarded
  • £589,280 donations received from the public & corporate



Primary Themes and example of Grants awarded:

Food Poverty Relief and delivery to vulnerable people (over 30 grants), including –

  • Nephra Good Neighbours – Funding to provide a meals on wheels service 
  • Make Lunch South Manchester – Providing lunch to children from families on a low income 
  • £150,000 to 13 foodbanks and food providers operating all over the city. This includes a £25,000 grant to Open Kitchen who turn food that would go to waste into tasty meals for vulnerable people – https://www.openkitchenmcr.co.uk/


Technology to enable staff to carry on vital support remotely – eg laptops, phones, Zoom membership (28 grants), including –


  • Manchester Rape Crisis – Grant to provide phone and IT support, to enable vital emotional support and counselling for victims of rape and sexual assault to continue 
  • Greater Manchester Law Centre – Have seen enquires about employment cases triple during the crisis. The Centre in Levenshulme has used our grant to equip staff to work from home, to provide emergency advice regarding employment, evictions and homelessness
  • Heart and Parcel – They have switched to providing live-streamed ESOL classes to their clients


Increased Staff and Volunteer costs (22 grants), including – 

  • Cheetham Hill Advice Centre – Grant to fund increased sessional staff with language skills, to cope with increased demand for urgent advice and support
  • Hope for Justice – Funding to cover increased costs of interpreting services to support victims of modern slavery 
  • DePaul UK – Increased staff costs need to be funded, to ensure their young people’s hostels are fully staffed and supported as demand grows


Craft activities, games, jigsaws & resources to provide support to self-isolating older people and children (12 grants), including – 


  • Together Dementia – Providing books, arts & craft materials and seeds to older people suffering dementia 
  • MCR Cares – Hosting “visual social clubs”, including desert island discs, pub quizzes and chair exercise. Also providing activity packs to members’ homes 
  • Living Stones Education Trust – Sending educational resources to children with learning needs that they would normally have access to at their homework club


Emergency support for people facing destitution or hardship, including provision of phones/credit and accommodation (11 grants), including – 


  • Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) – Grants for destitute women to access phones, credit, food and medicine.
  • Safety For Sisters – Emergency support for migrant women with no recourse to public funds, who are fleeing violence in their home
  • Albert Kennedy Trust – Emergency funding to offer support for LGBT+ young people


Technology to enable vulnerable clients to access vital support and reduce isolation (4 grants), including:

  • Levenshulme Youth Project – Tablets for young people and families with no internet access
  • Centrepoint – Tablets and Internet dongles for young, isolated people at risk of homelessness  to allow them to stay connected and access support
  • Venture Arts – Providing iPADS for learning-disabled people, to enable them to continue to be creative, with the remote support from an artist


To apply for a Covid-19 Community Response Fund Grant – download the application form here: https://www.welovemcrcharity.org/mcr-response-fund/


To support us and donate to the fund, you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/mcr-response-fund , or by setting up your own JustGiving fundraising page and linking it to this page.


Some of our fantastic fundraisers include Daniel Harrison, who has already raised £930 by streaming his DJ set from  his garden; and sisters Abi & Lucy, who’s 2-hour Super Bounce on their garden trampoline raised £350!

As well as giving online, if you can afford to, you can text MANCHESTER 10 to 70470 to donate £10.

To date, the Appeal has raised £589,704.

Ged Carter, We Love Manchester Charity’s Development Manager said

“Manchester always unites in the face of any challenge. The people supporting and protecting local folk on the frontline are heroes. Covid-19 is presenting huge challenge to so many of our neighbours. With the public’s support, we’re proud to be getting extra funds to the frontline, to support our most vulnerable neighbours. If you can afford to, please chip in to our Appeal. The good work we can do is only limited by the funds we can raise.”


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