This week we are re-launching our longest-standing grant programme. The Stronger Communities Fund is being revitalised to help Manchester in its post-Covid recovery work, and we want local communities to tell us what they need. 

The Stronger Communities Fund is calling on community groups and charities in Manchester to apply for funding for initiatives which celebrate and invest in Manchester’s vibrant multicultural neighbourhoods and youthful energy. Now the Covid-19 vaccination programme is underway many community groups are preparing to emerge from a period of hibernation and isolation, assessing the holes left in their operations and finances. We are asking Manchester residents directly if they know of any groups in their communities that could benefit from a cash grant from their Fund. 

As well as focusing on assisting in the recovery from the pandemic, the Fund’s relaunch includes 2 great new developments: 

    • The maximum grant value is increasing from £2,000 to £5,000 
    • The 2-year time limit after a successful grant application is being scrapped. We believe in funding great ideas whenever a community is ready to get started on their project – groups are now able to re-apply to the Stronger Communities Fund just 12 months after a successful award from us.

We are also pledging a healthy £215,000 to the Fund in the year starting 1 April 2021, reinforcing our commitment to Manchester’s people and communities. 

The Stronger Communities Fund is our oldest grant programme, operating for 10 years and already supporting community groups & charities in every corner of the city. It welcomes applications across 4 broad themes: 

    • Helping in the Early Years 
    • Combating Loneliness and Social Exclusion 
    • Protecting and Improving our Open Spaces 
    • Offering Positive Youth Activities 

Upping it - Moss Side

We are delighted to have the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Tommy Judge, as our Chair of Trustees. Tommy says this re-launch could not have been timed better: 

“The Stronger Communities Fund re-launch simply could not come at a better time for Manchester. The people of this city have lost loved ones, livelihoods and opportunities during this pandemic. Therefore it is the people of this city who are best placed to steer their communities out of the pandemic. Often what they need most is support and funding. We Love MCR Charity will support our city brilliantly now, as it has done for many years.” 

Marie O’Neill-Steinegger, our Grants Manager, added:

“We’ve supported many amazing groups over the last 10 years, and this year we want to support many more. Today we’re underlining our commitment to Manchester’s local groups and charities by offering them our financial support. Our communities know what they need to do to improve things for their neighbours. Contact us with your ideas today!” 

MCR Cares - Film Clubs

The groups we fund are Manchester’s local heroes. Here is what two of the groups who have received Stronger Communities Fund grants say about the Fund: 

Youth homelessness Charity, De Paul UK/Safestop, said:

“Having all these extra library resources funded by the Stronger Communities Fund is very positive for our residents. They can now access the right support and skills before they move on to their own accommodation. It also makes our accommodation feel more like a home and less like an institution, which has a huge impact on our residents’ wellbeing”. 

Ho Shin Do Karate, based across South Manchester, said:

“We Love MCR Charity made the whole process of applying to the Stronger Communities Fund really simple. Their grant is helping us to empower our young people, at a time when funding for activities for young people is hard to find”.  

If you know an amazing community group or charity that does fantastic work for your area in Manchester, please tell us about them on our social media: Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. To find more information about the Stronger Communities Fund, visit its page here: and encourage local community groups to make an application there. Or you can email us today at with your ideas and questions. 

Our Trustees meet monthly to consider applications and to award grants. The next two deadlines to submit applications for funding are 5th March and 2nd April. 

If you’d like to donate to support our work, please click here – Virgin Money Giving


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