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 November, we awarded 6 SCF and 9 MRSF grants which came to a huge total of £37,100! Here is the full list of those 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
About: Blossom are a group focused on wellbeing, health and happiness operating from Wythenshawe Park, who offer activities like food growing workshops and cooking sessions.
Project: Our funding will go towards mental health activities such as Meditative Yoga, Forest Bathing, Foraging, and Beginners Gardening which will serve around 20 participants at each session.
Location: Over a 12 month period in Wythenshawe Park
""Thank you for the lovely news that we have secured funding, which will allow us to offer Green Wellbeing Workshops in 2024 at Wythenshawe Park. Participants will increase connection to the natural environment to reduce social isolation, improve self-confidence and happiness! We anticipate that participants will recover emotional wellbeing and discover new learning opportunities and local initiatives which support health and promote activity."
CeeBee Gold Foundation
About: CGF aim to engage vulnerable people to offer activities like family days, fitness activities and opportunities to socialise.
Project: 16 weeks of "Community Catch Up" sessions from December 23 – April 24, to help address the needs of the community during the Christmas period which can be lonely for many vulnerable people, through to Easter.
Location: North Manchester
"Through these gatherings, we aspire to build resilience, foster connections, and create a strong sense of community among all participants. Your generosity will positively influence the lives of these incredible individuals, providing them with opportunities for growth, empowerment, and fun-filled experiences. Thank you immensely for your unwavering support and trust in our initiative."
Mother Matriarch CIC
About: Mother Matriarch is a diverse group of women using their own experiences of motherhood to help empower women through all stages of pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Project: A free postnatal 'drop-in' service at Harpurhey Wellbeing Centre, which will provide both emotional and practical support by creating a safe space for mums to share their needs.
""We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity given to us by We Love MCR, to bring beauty, ceremony & ritual back to the lives of postpartum Mothers in the Harpurhey community. These weekly circles will see more mothers held, nurtured and heard - ultimately creating a positive ripple effect by increasing emotional wellness of families by tending to the roots, the mother, first."
We Matter CIC
About: We Matter provide activities and community events in Longsight to meet local residents' needs for support networks.
Project: Delivering 3 sewing classes to 30 women where participants learn basic sewing skills from taking measurements, drawing a personalised pattern, skills to use a sewing machine and how to sew and complete one shalwar kameez outfit. The sessions will target women struggling with isolation to help them socialise and learn a new skill.
Community On Solid Ground
About: Community on Solid Ground are an active local charity who work with young people to empower them through mentoring, sports, education and training
Project: A sports and engagement project targeting young people aged 12 – 19 in the Whalley Range area to engage in football and multi-sports, but also offering workshops around skills for life such as confidence building, self-esteem, problem solving, CV building and more.
Location: Whalley Range
About: Our Space provides a safe space for children with additional needs aged 5-16.
Project: Our funding will allow them to visit to Ghyll Head Outdoor Education Centre for young people who do not attend mainstream school due to their SEND, and their families.
Location: Based in Wythenshawe, project in Lake District.
Manchester's Rising Stars Fund
Dajonelle, 24 from Rusholme
Ambition: To become a professional photographer. She is currently on a college course wants to go to university to study photography. Awarded: £1,474 For: A laptop and a camera to support her studies and future career.
"This means so much to me having the opportunity to upgrade from using just my phone, it will help me continue my photography and lead me into a great career in the future. I am very grateful for this award, you're an amazing charity, helpful and also kind and understanding."
Faye, 21 from Northenden
Ambition: To represent Great Britain in Weightlifting at the Olympics. She is currently in the North Regioal Junior Squad and has won medals at several competitions so far. Awarded: £4,975 For: Fees and coaching for upcoming competitions, and an ice barrel to help with her phsyical recovery.
"I am over the moon to have received this final award from MRSF. Although it may be my final grant, it is such an investment piece of equipment that will benefit me for many years to come in my future career. The impact of cold water therapy on both my physical recovery (which is of course essential for weightlifting) and my mental well being is also an investment I am looking forward to reaping the benefits of.
Coming from a single income household, and taking on caring responsibilities at a relatively young age means that I do not have the disposable income that others may have, and We Love MCR Charity has undoubtedly allowed me to get to where I am today - in just 1 year! (English and British Junior Champion and British Senior medalist).
If you want any future info or anything to help encourage other young people to apply do not hesitate to contact me! I cannot put into words how grateful I am, how much financial stress you have relieved me of and the morale boost of having an external group believing that I can achieve my dreams. I am forever indebted to you and will do my best to do you all proud!"
[Faye competing in her first British Seniors, the biggest UK competition of the year, where she won a Bronze Medal!]
William A.K.A. Kofi Billz, 23 from Gorton
Ambition: To become a successful recording artist. Kofi is already releasing music and has featured on BBC introducing. Awarded: £2,500 For: For fees relating to recording, releasing and promoting his first EP, like studio sessions, beats licenses, and marketing fees.
"I just want to say thank you for deciding to award me with a grant that will help my music career take a giant step in the right direction. Talking with Marie was delightful, she made sure I felt understood and heard and I’m grateful for that. I know that this project I’m embarking on will be a success, but your support gives me so much confidence that I’m on the right path. Thank you!"
Taylor, 18 from Withington
Ambition: To qualify as a plumber and widen his skills in all trades Awarded: £250
For: A Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card which will allow him to work on sites and help provide for his family.
""I want to say a huge thank you to We Love MCR Charity team as they have given me the opportunity to pursue my career as a plumber, and possibly work alongside a number of plumbers to build my experience. They have also given me the opportunity to go to work with my dad, earn more money for the household and help support my mum and my little sister leading up to Christmas. Loads of different paths have opened up for me all from the help of We Love MCR and I am forever grateful. Thank you."
Larochelle, 17 from Harpurhey
Ambition: To be a content creator in the fashion industry, eventually running her own marketing agency focusing on fashion. Awarded: £1,930 For: A laptop, camera and funding of a degree apprenticeship in fashion business.
""I appreciate the award from We Love Charity as it will make such a positive impact in my future career. The resources given to me will allow me to build on my skills which I am very grateful for."
Kane, 23 from Hulme
Ambition: To qualify as a plasterer. Kane has completed a Level 1 Plastering course and is now enrolled on his Level 2, and is also seeking an apprenticeship. Awarded: £250 For: A Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card which will allow him to work on sites and gain part-time work.
Abdulrahman, 16 from Moss Side
Ambition: To be a computer scientist. He is currently studying Double Engineering and Science at BTEC with aims of a career in technology. Awarded: £1,135 For: A laptop which will help him to complete his studies and courses.
"I am very happy my application has been accepted by the We Love MCR charity. I would like to thank the charity for this as this is much appreciated in helping many young people like me in Manchester. I will use this laptop in my studies for college in my BTEC qualifications(Engineering and Applied Science) and in the future when I do a degree in computer science."
Zabina, 18 from Moss Side
Ambition: To become a lawyer. She is currently studying Foundation Law at MMU and aims to represent women from ethnic minority backgrounds in the field. Awarded: £1,148 For: An iPad and noise-cancelling headphones to support her studies and allow her to study in her busy home environment.
Kyle*, 18 from Harpurhey
Ambition: To be a computer scientist. He is currently studing Computer Science A-Levels and hopes to attend the University of Manchester to continue his studies. Awarded: £1,180 For: A laptop and accessories to allow him to study from home rather than being limited to the local library and school for computer access.
*name anonymised at young person's request