The evening saw 450 of Manchester’s leading civic and business figures join us at ‘The Heart and Hope Charity Dinner’.
The event was held in The Midland Hotel as a celebration of our work across Manchester, and a show of support from the city’s businesses to ensure it continues.
We are deeply grateful to Together Money and MCR Property Group which sponsored the occasion, and to Aneel Mussarat (founder of MCR Property) who organised the event and welcomed guests as the dinner started..
Proceedings began with a moving speech from our Chair of Trustees, the Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Donna Ludford.
The Lord Mayor told the room of her tough journey from a vulnerable young Mancunian in the care system to the prestigious position she holds now, drawing attention to the life-changing differences our Rising Stars Fund makes for ambitious young people facing disdvantages.
Attendees were treated to a rare Q&A session with the man whose legacy shapes modern Manchester, and who we’re proud to call our Ambassador, Sir Howard Bernstein.
Sir Howard answered questions about Manchester’s past, future, the current political situation, and lessons he would pass on to young Mancunians that he learned rising through the ranks of Manchester City Council over 45 years.
Our Head of Charity, Ged Carter, took time on stage to talk guests through the differences We Love MCR’s work makes to our city’s communities and young people every single day, citing Ambition as the thread running through all of our work.
Stories of community organisations funded through our Stronger Communities Fund to improve lives in every local neighbourhood, and of young people whose lives we’ve changed through our unique Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund, gripped the entire room.
We were incredibly honoured to have two ‘Rising Stars’ present on the night, really bringing home the realities of our work to guests.
First was Jake, a photojournalist and photographer from Harpurhey, who has gone from strength to strength since we funded his specialist equipment, and who took all the top-class pictures you see in this article!
Second up was Eden, a young man from Moston who tragically lost both parents as a teenager, and with our funding isnow able to attend the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he’s fulfilling his natural talent as a classical singer. To say Eden’s voice stunned everyone in the room would be an understatement. (and we loved his interpretation of some classic songs from Manchester bands...)
The night ended with a raft of donations coming through pledges of philanthropic support and raffle entries. The raffle included prizes generously donated by Adam Reid at The French | The Midland Hotel, and Kimpton Clocktower Hotel.
The staggering fundraising total at the end of the night was £169,325, which after event costs will be split to fund more life-changing awards through our Stronger Communities Fund and Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund.
The amount raised will ensure we can continue to make differences to the lives of Manchester’s young people and communities.
The Lord Mayor and all our Trustees wish a huge Manc thanks to every single individual and business who attended, sponsored, donated and pledged support to We Love MCR.