On a cold January night, 70 daredevil Mancs walked on fire to raise over £25,000 for We Love MCR Charity!
Crowds gathered at 6.30pm on Thursday 25th January at the historic St. Ann’s Square, as our courageous fundraisers prepared to walk across 700-degree Farenheit coals in aid of our work with Manchester’s communities and young people.
The 70 brave 'soles', that we're so proud to call our supporters, ensured that our first fundraising event of 2024 was made a huge success by raising £25,000 and counting!
We upped the stakes from our previous firewalk in 2021 – the first of its kind in Manchester city centre – by adding an extra lane of fire for brave walkers to conquer.
Deputy Lord Mayor, and one of our Trustees, Cllr Paul Andrews kicked off proceedings in the stunning 300-year-old St. Ann's Church reminding our walkers of the lifechanging differences their fundraising will make.
Firewalking expert Cliff Mann from TIME4CHANGE returned to Manchester oversee the event and coach nervous participants once again. Cliff and Darren's decades of experience in the field was vital for our firewalkers!
And, adding to the atmosphere this time was international samba reggae band Batala, whose jaw-dropping drumming served as a dramatic soundtrack to the night’s events, giving firewalkers a ferocious drumbeat to march to.
Simon, our new Head of Charity, was the first to take to the coals in his first fundraising event for the charity! He said:
“Since joining We Love MCR in September 2023, I’ve been looking forward to getting involved in some exciting fundraising events. I couldn’t have asked for a better first challenge than a trial by fire right in the heart of the city.
We’d like to thank our brilliant participants for once again rising to the challenge and raising more than £25,000 in aid of Manchester’s communities and young people. We truly couldn’t do it without your support.”
Simon was joined on the coals by supporters from the public and We Love MCR's partner businesses, with colleagues from Manchester City Council, Manchester Law Society, Knights, Insurance Institute of Manchester, JMW, Softcat, Manchester Trainee Solicitors Group and MCRactive.
Special shout-out to the heroes at Manchester Law Society team who raised over £4,700 - and Joanne Roney CBE, CEO of Manchester City Council, who raised the biggest individual amount so far at over £4,000!
A huge crowd was drawn by the flames and drums, giving the Manchester public quite the spectacle! Watch the video taken by our friend Rita below, you won't want to miss the next Firewalk...
The funds raised from the firewalk will go towards our life-changing support awarded across the city with our two main grant programmes.
The one-of-a-kind Rising Stars Fund gives disadvantaged young Mancunians the financial support they need to realise their ambitions, changing the lives of 74 young people in 2023. Meanwhile, the Stronger Communities Fund helps fund grassroots community projects, 56 of which we supported last year. Read about those achievements in our 2023 End of Year Review.
All the brilliant photos you see here were taken by Jake Lindley, a fantastic young photographer who we supported with our Rising Stars Fund in 2022. His work has regularly featured in the Manchester Evening News and he's growig into a fantastic photojournalist - we're certain he's going places!
If you don't want to miss out on all our news and next fundraising challenges, join the mailing list below. See you at the next event!
Special thanks to Cliff, Darren and Brandon from Time4Change, Tessa and Paul from Batala, our partner volunteers Debbie and James from MCC, Cerys from Brabners, and finally William, photographers Jake Lindley and Dylan O'Brien, and finally Paul and Andrew at St. Ann's Church for their assistance, without which this event could not have gone ahead and been such a success.