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Grants awarded by We Love MCR in January 2024!

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.

In January 2024, we awarded 1 SCF and 7 MRSF grants which came to a total of £21,952! Here is the full list of the fantastic local initiatives and young people we supported, and we look forward to sharing further details about them with you as the projects and Rising Stars' ambitions develop.

Stronger Communities Fund

  • Pursuing Individual Excellence (PIE)

About: PIE are a Greater Manchester-based educational social enterprise who have supported over 4000 young people across the region to develop skills and gain experiences that will support them within, and beyond, education.

Project: Following on from a project we funded last year, supporting young new arrivals in the City with a bespoke support programme, PIE applied for support to extend this into the 'BEELong cultural festival' organised by the young people, linking in with organisations who work with refugees and asylum seekers.

Award: £4,000

Location: The festival will take place at Chorlton High School in July 2024.

Manchester's Rising Stars Fund

  • Dee Rae, 23

Ambition: To reach the stage of her career as an independent musician where she is self-reliant on the music she creates. Awarded: £5,000 For: To record, release and promote a 6-track EP in 2024 as the next springboard in her career, reaching a wider audience.

Our first award to Dee in 2022 supported her to release 3 singles, raising her profile to perform at more gigs, get festival bookings, and even her first international slot in Paris this Spring! We hope this award builds on that progress, and this talented music Star keeps rising.

You can listen to Dee Rae's releases on Spotify, purchase them via Bandcamp, and keep up to date with her next shows on Instagram.

"I can't even begin to express how much this is going to change my life. Financial difficulties have been one of the biggest barriers in my music career and so this fund will allow me to push through these obstacles in order to make music my full time job. I am now going to be able to record, release and promote my debut EP using this award and none of this would be remotely possible without this fund so thank you."

  • Jayden, 17 from Harpurhey

Ambition: To be a Solicitor in the corporate sector, specialising in mergers and acquisitions. He is currently on the Pathways to Law programme at Manchester University, and considering a law apprenticeship.. Awarded: £1,143 For: A quality laptop of his own that will support him throughout his studies.

Jayden is an incredibly driven young man, with work experience under his belt from 5 different legal firms and organisations, and multiple university offers. He's proof that your circumstances don't define you, and we're delighted our Rising Stars Fund can give him the opportunity to make his ambition a reality!

"I am incredibly grateful to We Love MCR Charity for supporting and believing in me. This award will enable me to pursue my aspiration of becoming a Solicitor and has removed a major barrier – the cost of the tools I would need to make this happen. They instil hope in young people all around the city, and for that, I am truly grateful."

  • Nabilah*, 22 from Levenshulme

Ambition: To open her own studio offering modelling shoot photography after university. She is currently finishing a Level 3 course at Oldham College. Awarded: £1,610

For: A quality laptop that will last throughout her studies, and a professional camera of her own.

Nabilah has bags of talent, but her family situation means she has to borrow a camera from college with no ability to purchase her own. We hope our support makes the difference for this young Rising Star!

  • Taylor, 16 from Moss Side

Ambition: To become a champion wrestler, making the World Rankings in 2024, representing GB in the Olympic and England in the 2030 Commonwealth Games! Awarded: £5,000 For: Support to continue his progress at the top of his age group, with the funding helping him attend international competitions, the European championships, and a weight management programme.

Taylor is clearly a Rising Star, being the first ever wrestler from GB to place 1st at U15s international level! His only barrier is finances, so our support will give this young Mancunian every chance to lift the standard of British Wrestling.

"I am thankful for the grant, as coming from a small sport we don't get any money or sponsorship, so this money will be useful in reaching my maximum potential, become a better athlete, and represent GB. Also being one of the few athletes from England on the path to qualifying for European championships 2024, this money will help go towards ensuring I am able to attend and help me get my European rating."

  • Asbah, 19 from Whalley Range

Ambition: To become a dentist, an interest that stems from her experiences as a young carer for her family. Awarded: £850 For: An iPad and pencil to assist her educational support needs, replacing an old ineffective one she had on loan from school.

Asbah is well on track to achieve the high grades needed to reach university, even in the face of the many issues she's experienced at a young age. She wishes to stay local to continue caring for her family, but wherever she goes on to study we'll continue to support her journey as a Rising Star.

"Thank you so much for this award. You are helping me to achieve my dreams by allowing me to have the technology that I would not be able to access otherwise. This will help me to be able to complete my coursework to a better standard and make it easier for me to organise my notes. This is really going to make it easier for me to do my work."

  • Leshall, 20 from Chorlton Park

Ambition: To become an experienced hairdresser and trained extensionist, having worked in salons since the age of 15!

Awarded: £3499

For: For a Level 2 Hairdressing Course, which will qualify her to take on more work and develop her skills.

Leshall has been through many difficulties, including having to stop an apprenticeship because of Covid-19, so we're glad we can support her future plans now she's in a more stable position.

"Thank you so much to We Love MCR for supporting me and giving me this amazing opportunity to pursue my career in hairdressing! This will help me massively in becoming a qualified hairdresser and hopefully an extensionist. I am so grateful and appreciate this more than anything. I am excited to take my next steps in creating my dream future."

  • Donia, 17 from Ardwick

Ambition: To become a professor and teach English at universities around the world. She has a passion for English Literature, and wants to study it at PhD level once she finishes college.Awarded: £850For: An iPad and pencil, quality devices that will support her flexible study right through to university.

We feel Donia's thirst for knowledge and love for studying English Language is something that should be encouraged whenever possible, not restricted due to her family circumstances. We hope to see her flourishing at university soon!

"As a beneficiary of your services, I want to express my appreciation for the contributions and support you provide for students all around Manchester. Your generosity will allow me to continue my studies comfortably and drive me towards pursuing my dream of becoming a professor and giving back to the community."

*name anonymised at young person's request


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