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Latest grants awarded by We Love MCR!

Throughout the year, our Trustees award grants from our two core funds. The 'Stronger Communities Fund' (SCF), where we provide funding to groups making positive differences in their communities, and the 'Manchester's Rising Stars Fund' (MRSF) where we award grants supporting ambitious young Mancunians from disadvantage in their next steps to success.

March 2024 was a huge month, where we awarded 7 SCF and 8 MRSF grants which came to a total of £32,449! Here is the full list of the fantastic local projects 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

  • Bradley Folds Allotment (BFA)

About: BFA manages over 100 allotments, as part of Didsbury Gardens Society. They foster a community that grows food, connects with nature, and supports wildlife while providing a social space for members to meet and enjoy the benefits of gardening and nature.

Project: BFA applied for funding to enhance their community access plot for gardeners with reduced mobility. The project aims to create raised bed areas, level paths, and provide assistance to enable members with mobility challenges to continue gardening. Additionally, they plan to collaborate with local organisations like the Good Neighbours group for communal gardening activities.

Award: £4,000

Location: Didsbury, near Fletcher Moss Gardens

"The BFA Committee gives our great thanks to We Love MCR Charity for this award... that will allow our less mobile gardeners to continue gardening when managing a whole allotment plot becomes too much. We know how much our gardeners love to stay involved with the outdoor life and all the health benefits this brings to them, as well as being able to continue to be part of our Allotment Society, to all the members' benefit - we need to keep their experience around! The Community Plot and the volunteers who run it will be growing vegetables and fruits also for our local foodbank charities and community kitchens so many people will benefit from this award."

About: VFTS has been supporting new parents and families in Greater Manchester since 2014, providing practical and emotional support through projects like giving out baby essentials, running awareness campaigns, and peer support groups.

Project: VFTS has been granted funding to support their 'Longsight Lions' peer support group, aiming to reduce social isolation, connect communities, and provide structured sessions with outside support to help families during difficult times.

Award: £3585

Location: Longsight

  • NEPHRA Good Neighbours

About: NEPHRA supports the older community in New Moston to reduce isolation and loneliness while improving health and wellbeing through a variety of classes, activities, volunteering schemes, befriending programs, and community initiatives.

Project: We've granted them funding to launch the "Tuesday Social Club", a new session on their timetable bringing together approximately 50+ service users for social gatherings, including a light lunch and games. The aim is to provide a warm, safe environment for the elderly to combat isolation and loneliness, improve wellbeing, and connect them with support services.

Award: £2826

Location: The NEPHRA Centre on Parkfield Road North, New Moston

We would like to say a big thank you to the We Love MCR Charity for supporting us to provide these vital social activities for older residents. Having the opportunity to get together and socialise with friends and neighbours has huge mental health benefits. Feeling more connected to your neighbourhood provides a sense of belonging resulting in a more connected community

About: LOL is a community-focused hub offering various services like their Repair Café, Library of Things, art classes, children's drama classes, volunteering network, local station ALL FM, and a drop-in for the Romani population.

Project: An active wellness project in collaboration with Chapel Street Primary School, targeting health challenges in the South Asian community, with a focus on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The project will provide tailored movement sessions, yoga, and adaptable exercises to enhance physical fitness, flexibility, and mental well-being for participants of varying abilities and mobility levels.

Award: £2340

Location: The former Levenshulme Library building on Cromwell Grove

We're enormously grateful to We Love MCR Charity for their generous support of our Active Wellness project. This is an investment in our community, empowering them to prioritise their health and well-being in a fun and accessible way. Together, we're making a tangible impact on local residents, helping create a healthier, happier, and more vibrant community for all

About: R360 is a new group offering media and performing arts training to empower individuals for career transitions, focusing on unemployed, older individuals or career changers living in underserved communities.

Project: To expand their media training sessions in North Manchester, addressing obstacles such as poor educational attainment and mental or physical health challenges by offering practical skills development, boosting confidence and self-esteem whilst fostering community connections.

Award: £4000

Location: At the No. 93 Wellbeing Centre in Harpurhey

About: COB fosters connections between forcibly displaced individuals and local communities in the UK through online English and Befriending Programs, Digital Inclusion initiatives, digital skills mentoring, and a mental health support group for the LGBTQ+ refugee community.

Project: A specialist horticultural wellbeing project for LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in Manchester. The project will offer sessions on culturally diverse crops, garden design, sustainable growing techniques, composting and provide a platform for dialogue mutual support and relationship-building.

Award: £4000

Location: Platt Fields Park in Fallowfield

Thank you so much to everyone at We Love Manchester Charity for their incredible support of our new LGBTQ+ Wellbeing Project for refugees and asylum seekers in Manchester! The experience of claiming asylum as an LGBTQ+ person is unique and isolating. The LGBTQ+ people seeking safety in Manchester that we work with at Conversation Over Borders are looking forward to having a safe, inclusive space to come together, connect with the wider LGBTQ+ community and support one another. All of us need to create the spaces where we feel safe and comfortable to share - in order to build our resilience and hope in times of difficulty, increase social connection and build strong, rooted communities! Thank you for making this space possible! 

  • Rainbow Community Centre

About: The Rainbow Centre is a Caribbean and African inter-generational volunteer project focusing on developing social connections resilience independence within the community.

Project: Establishing a support group for up to 60 individuals affected by Long Covid in the BAME community in Crumpsall and Cheetham Hill . The group will offer advice signposting peer support to combat loneliness and provide essential support.

Award: £3470

Location: The centre on Humphrey Street, Crumpsall.

Manchester's Rising Stars Fund

  • Shaima, 17, Cheetham Hill

Ambition: Striving for academic excellence in Maths, Shaima aims to pursue a PHD at the University of Manchester.

Awarded: £850

For: An iPad and pencil.

Shaima's exceptional talent in mathematics and dedication to her studies highlight her potential for success in academia. She's well on track to get the incredibly high grades she needs, and she still makes time to volunteer at charity WAFA Relief in her spare time - showing her qualities extend further than just being exceptionally gifted!

"I'm incredibly grateful for receiving this MRSF award. Your support will undoubtedly propel my ambitions, opening doors to new opportunities and shaping a brighter future for my career in maths. Thank you for making a meaningful impact on my journey."

  • Nauman, 17, Longsight

Ambition: An aspiring videographer, Nauman is studying media and aims to study digital video production at Salford University.

Awarded: £1620

For: A laptop and digital camera.

Nauman's passion for videography and dedication to honing his craft demonstrate his potential in the field. We're sure to follow his progress as a Rising Star!

"We Love MCR is truly a blessing and one of the best charities for young people in Manchester. It honestly doesn’t feel real; the fact that all I had to do was apply and they are awarding me so much support. Coming from someone who didn’t have their own laptop or camera originally, this will have a massive impact on my career and help me achieve my ambition as a videographer."

  • Christina, 22, Hulme

Ambition: To be a Cyber Security Analyst. Christina is currently studying a Level 3 Cyber Security course at The Manchester College.

Awarded: £1192

For: An additional 12-month Cyber Security course, which will provide accreditation and employment opportunities when completed.

This grant will provide Christina with the opportunity to pursue her passion for I.T and break into the male-dominated field of cyber security, despite facing homelessness and financial challenges. Our support will not only help her achieve her career goals but also provide her with stability and a pathway to a secure job in the future.

"Thank you We Love MCR for giving me the chance to improve myself and develop my knowledge, thanks to the funding and being able to do the accredited course I will be able to get any job I want in Cyber Security as I will be qualified. The impact this has for me is huge for my life as it is funding my dream. I am so grateful my journey has led me to Manchester and I have been able to apply for the funding and will be able to get a good job in the future."

  • Mujahid, 20, Oldham (Manchester LAC)

Ambition: To specialize in Criminal Law. Mujahid is starting a distance learning course at Arden University in February, driven by his desire to help others and embark on a new chapter in his life.

Awarded: £1145

For: A laptop. Providing him with the essential tool needed for his studies, ensuring he can pursue his dream of achieving a degree in Law despite financial constraints.

Mujahid's dedication to pursuing a career in Law despite challenges faced as a care leaver and carer demonstrates his resilience and determination. The support from our Rising Stars Fund will not only provide him with the necessary resources to succeed in his studies but also offer him the opportunity to overcome obstacles and achieve his academic goals.

"I would like to thank the We Love MCR charity for awarding me with the Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund for a brand-new laptop. This is going to benefit me so much with my law studies as it requires online learning, and I didn't have a laptop of my own."

  • Hawaa, 17, Moss Side

Ambition: Pursuing a career in children's nursing, Hawaa is studying Health and Social Care with aspirations to attend Salford University.

Awarded: £850

For: An iPad and pencil.

Hawaa's passion for working with children and academic determination show she has all the qualities needed for her chosen path. She has already completed a placement at a primary school, and volunteers at an Arabic school in her free time - we can't wait to see this compassionate young woman attain the career she is so clearly made for!

"Thanks to We Love MCR I will be able to achieve my dreams of becoming a children’s nurse and attending university. This award will come into great use when I’m completing all my assignments for my health care course. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and look forward to giving back to the community when I can."

  • Phoenix, 17, Droylsden (Manchester LAC)

Ambition: To pursue a career in the construction industry, specifically in bricklaying. Phoenix aims to broaden his skills in areas like plastering and tiling to complement his specialism.

Awarded: £1176

For: A course covering construction skills and mentorship.

Phoenix's determination to excel in the construction industry showcases his resilience and commitment to personal growth. We wish him the best and will follow his journey keenly!

  • Abuzer, 19, Levenshulme

Ambition: To pursue a career in Cyber Security. Abuzer is currently studying I.T Level 3 and plans to enroll in Computer Science at Salford University.

Awarded: £1145

For: A laptop of his own, which his financial situation restricted him from.

Abuzer's dedication to his studies and ambition in Cyber Security exemplify his commitment to personal and academic growth. We wish him the best in his studies going on to university, and in his future career in cyber security!

  • Saul, 22, Chorlton

Ambition: To be a plasterer, hoping to secure apprenticeships in the field.

Awarded: £250

For: A CSCS course, the necessary qualification for employment opportunities despite Saul's financial constraints.

Saul's dedication to developing his skills in plastering showcases his commitment to entering the construction industry. We Love MCR will support Saul all the way!

"I want to say thank you to We Love MCR Charity as they've put me in a position to excel in life... by funding my CSCS course, they have helped me work towards getting a job which will give me a better chance at having a better life. I especially want to thank Marie and Andreas for their assistance in making this happen."

*name anonymised at young person's request


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