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We Love MCR Grant Awards | January 2023

Each month, our Trustees come together to award grants from our two core funds. The 'Stronger Communities Fund' (SCF), where we seek applications from community groups looking to make a difference in their area, and the 'Manchester's Rising Stars Fund' (MRSF) where we award grants supporting ambitious young Mancunians who can't rely on their family's finances to succeed.

Here are some special projects and stories awarded last month that we're excited to share!

Stronger Communities Fund

Community groups supported: 2

Total funds awarded: £4,984

  • Moston & District Sports Club (based in Moston & surrounding areas)

Moston and District Sports and Youth Club is the charitable arm of Moston Junior Football Club, providing sporting and recreational activities to young people in Moston and North Manchester.

They applied for £1,984.55 for equipment which will help them to maintain their impressive momentum in providing sports activity, after the pandemic resulted in a loss of income which in turn meant they struggled to buy much-needed supplies. The training balls, bibs, cones, hurdles and speed ladders funded by this grant will be used to encourage more young people to take up football.

MCR Active, who have supported their application, stated that the funds are very much needed for the youth club to rebuild following Covid and to further develop their brilliant programme of activities.

  • The Beginning Group (project based in Longsight)

The Beginning Group aims to empower people and strengthen communities by providing opportunities and initiatives in disadvantaged communities. They hope to reduce poverty by working with residents to develop new skills and knowledge, and provide opportunities to reduce barriers into the workplace.

TBG applied for the amount of £3,000 to fund a facilitator, who will deliver bespoke digital literacy sessions targeted at over 50’s in Longsight. The course will focus on improving skills and confidence in accessing healthcare, support services, welfare, shopping, and banking for people who struggle with the increasingly digital nature of day to day life.

They will cover topics such as completing job applications, creating CVs and how to use a tablet. While teaching much-needed practical skills, the project will also help to combat loneliness, improve health and wellbeing, and improve access to opportunities, information, advice, service and goods.

Manchester's Rising Stars Fund

Young People supported: 7

Total funds awarded: £11,486

  • Faye

Faye is a young weightlifter from South Manchester with ambitions to represent Great Britain at the 2026 Commonwealth Games and the 2028 Olympics! Those ambitions are very realistic, as Faye became the British U20 49kg Champion in 2021 and in 2022 has qualified for the English Senior Championships – her trajectory is only up! Matthew Saunt, her coach at Wythenshawe Weightlifting Club, tells us that Faye shows great potential and commitment to the sport, adding that her goals are “more than achievable”.

Faye’s progression is made even more impressive considering her equal commitment to looking after her grandad, who she visits multiple times daily, on top of her training schedule. This also means the hours she can work each week are limited and, the costs associated with progressing successfully in British Weightlifting are a massive barrier and rising. We awarded Faye from our Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund to cover gym fees, equipment, physio to ensure her safety in recovery, and her participation in two ranked competitions. We’re fully behind Faye on her path to representing GB on the global stage!

  • Chelsea

Chelsea is a young woman from Newton Heath who has a passion for beauty treatment, with aims of managing her own salon one day. She already has her own fledgling business that she runs out of her home seeing clients nearly every day, but this is on top of her full-time job working in Manchester city-centre hospitality, which is demanding work for low wages in return.

Chelsea wants to build on her brilliant progress so far, expanding into other areas of the beauty industry to increase her client base, but she has no expendable income after paying for essentials. As a former Looked After Child, Chelsea has no family to support her financially either, so she applied to the Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund for support so she can invest in the products she needs. Our Trustees awarded Chelsea £488 for beauty products that will enhance her services, and hope to see her business properly take off soon!

  • Kelechi

Kelechi is a talented young volleyball player from Moss Side, who holds an ambition to play for the England Men’s Senior squad. He plays for Manchester Marvels, the largest volleyball team in the UK, and has recently been selected for England’s U19 squad which he describes as his biggest achievement yet. Kelechi’s coach describes him as a remarkable and passionate player who has the ability to go far. He also holds academic ambitions, aiming to go to university and study electrical engineering – at a university with a good volleyball team of course!

The downside of his sporting success is that he has to pay monthly subs to be on the England team, and travel to their base in Kettering is expensive. Kelechi is in full time education, and comes from a low income background, meaning he couldn’t cover these costs himself. He successfully applied to our Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund for £2,100 which will cover his subs and travel, allowing him to make the most of his talent and achieve his ambitions. We’ll keep an eye on this Rising Star’s journey!

  • Jade

Jade is a young Manc with an aspiration of working in the aviation industry, and she has a clear plan in motion to become an air hostess. She has completed the necessary Level 2 cabin crew qualification at The Manchester College, however she needs swimming lessons, a specialist aviation medical, and a DBS certificate in order to complete a Ryanair training course, leading to employment.

Jade came to us via The Foyer, an organisation for homeless young people in Manchester, and as such she can’t rely on family support for the funds she needs to achieve her dream. Jade successfully applied to the Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund and received an award of £835, covering the cost of the above items. We hope to see Jade flying high as a Rising Star soon!

  • Sam

Sam is a Karate star with ambitions to be an elite athlete in the field and continue to represent his country. He is currently the reigning English and British Champion for the Junior Male -55kg weight class, a huge achievement to have earnt at just 16! Sam is a familiar face, after we supported him in 2022 in order to attend the World Championships in Turkey and improving his rankings in global standings. After this, he was then selected as the only English representative in his class for the European Championships this month in Cyprus.

Sam is in full time education, looking towards universities where he can continue to develop his Karate, and fully supported by his parents who continually have to absorb the costs of his progression in the sport, as it is non-funded in the UK. Sam made a 2nd application to the MRSF for £426.75 to buy the newly-imposed mandatory Gis – the traditional fighting uniform in Karate – which our Trustees were glad to award, noting Sam’s continued dedication to mastering his discipline and representing Manchester on the world stage!

  • Natasha

Natasha is a young woman from North Manchester who also aspires to be a successful businesswoman in the beauty industry. Her ambitions include not only owning her own salon, but also moving onto teaching one day through a makeup academy where she could pass on her skills to the next generation of young beauticians. Natasha is self-taught, but her mentor tells us that her talent and ambition at this early stage of her career gives them belief that Natasha will excel at running her own business with the right support.

That support comes through Global Makeup Academy, who have offered Natasha a place on their industry standard work experience-focused Hair & Beauty course. This will grant Natasha the qualifications needed to run her own business, but she cannot cover the cost herself due to her family and work situation. We awarded Natasha £4,000 from the Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund, covering her course fees and specialist kit, placing our belief in this talented young woman as she looks to succeed in her life ambition!


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