Our Recent Work

What we’ve been up to during the winter months of 2018

Since Christmas, we have opened two new Community Grocers - one in Fallowfield, at The Place at Platt Lane, and one in Gorton Community Centre. The shops are already being very well used by the community, with Fallowfield's shop reaching full membership in just one month. After visiting the shop, a local resident got in touch to say: "Thank you for today. It's very nice to feel like one community and to see familiar faces from our neighbourhood".

Our established Grocers have been busy too. One of the Anson Community Shop volunteers' grandkids completed a 2km sponsored run/walk to help raise funds, to provide more goods to help the families in the community. And in Miles Platting, members passed their Food Safety L2 course, volunteers have set up a new knitting group for the local community and are also carrying out community organising training for our volunteers and members, which provides an introduction to the principles and processes of community organising, and how it can be applied to bring about positive change in the local area. Participants said the training is helping them to reach out and take action in their area, as well as to feel more confident in empowering the rest of the community. We have also been strengthening local communities in Collyhurst through training, with a food safety course delivered at the Lalley Centre where we trained 10 volunteers.

We have also been out and about in North Manchester, listening to residents ideas around their hospital, North Manchester General Hospital. Over 150 people took part in participatory engagement workshops providing their ideas for improving health in North Manchester and new wellbeing service from the NMGH site, exploring ideas for creating healthier neighbourhood. The workshops were part of the wider engagement led by MHCC.

And our People Powered Maps project is now in its final stage. The project involved co-producing a neighbourhood map of Rusholme and the surrounding areas' local services and activities for wellbeing. We worked alongside community members with severe and enduring mental-health conditions, utilising their expert knowledge and use of mental-health friendly and supportive services. The map has now been produced and plans are underway for the launch and local distribution of the map.


Click here for more information about our award‐winning project for tackling poverty, improving health and strengthening communities.


People Powered Maps are neighbourhood maps of local services, places to visit, for living‐well and include themed walks for encouraging being active.

They are coproduced by local people, the experts, who know what is happening in their community and what truly are assets. Our People Powered Maps not only involve local people but train and employ them too as workshop facilitators. Thanks to funding from Manchester CCGs Mental Health Grant programme we are coproducing a map of Rusholme and the surrounding neighbourhoods.


Improved confidence and skills

Food Works trains and mentors people to become community food‐facilitators and includes the RSPH Food Safety Level 2 qualification. Food Works includes healthy‐eating, planning and delivering workshops, and exploring local health issues, which provides a fantastic springboard to volunteering and enhanced job prospects.

The heart of our approach is that health improves when people gain economic independence, fulfil their potential, creating an upward spiral of confidence, motivation and responsibility. In short, Food Works works because it improves opportunities and health.

We have delivered programmes with East Manchester Children’s Centres and Rainbow Haven and our current project is based from the Anson Community Grocer.

✔ Improved confidence and skills
✔ I will have a happy life
✔ Qualification
✔ Cooking skills and nutritional knowledge
✔ Improves prospects and health

“I have gained experience & it will enhance my employability in the catering industry. I would like to find a kitchen job”

Teklebrahn, Food Works


✔ We have recently completed work with buzz, the new Health &
     Wellbeing Service for people and communities in Manchester,
     providing PAR training, supporting their neighbourhood
     mapping work and developing an evaluation and impact
✔ Providing community organiser training for Southway Housing
     residents, as part of their work in Old Moat for reducing
     loneliness and isolation.
✔ Undertaking community engagement work as part of the
     developments for the North Manchester General Hospital Site.


Developing community organising skills

The Rusholme Social Café, now Birch Social Café, was born with a grant from the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund (Manchester CCGs). Working in partnership with the Birch Community Association, we co‐created a social‐space for coming together and planning community activities with social‐café volunteers and residents. It developed into a space for both older‐people and working‐age people with long‐term mental‐health conditions, creating age‐friendly and mental‐health friendly neighbourhoods through peer‐support and friendships. We are proud that the Birch Social Café is now an established community asset led and developed by the Birch Community Association, volunteers and members.

For information on the current programme please contact the Birch Community Centre on 0161 224 4624 or birchcc@tiscali.co.uk


Crowd funding

“A great idea from over the pond in Detroit arrives in Manchester. Detroit Soup www.detroitsoup.com is the founding project and celebrating 5-years of micro-funding including 95 suppers and £55,000 raised for local projects. Simply a SOUP is a community-supper for micro-funding local projects.”

On the night people come along to their neighbourhood SOUP event where they learn about the ideas for their community, share a supper and using the money raised on the night, vote on which project to fund. The funding comes from donations on the night and business sponsorship. There are no losers with people coming together around an idea, identifying and sharing resources. SOUPs are a great way to raise money, build community support and get connections to local resources that can help you carry out your project.

✔ Collaboration
✔ Increases resources
✔ Access to community support and connections