As Forever Manchester slowly begins to open up its other funds the team is still busy assessing applications for the Community Support Fund. This fund, in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, has now distributed an enormous £2.3m in funding to 532 community projects across Greater Manchester who are helping those suffering both the impact and now hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s interesting to see from some of the applications that community projects are now taking a more strategic view, rather than reactionary, to ensure they can continue to meet the demand for their services as the impact continues, cases of hardship increase and as the first furlough scheme comes to an end.
Greater Manchester Poverty Action (GMPA) is a not-for-profit organisation that works to address poverty across Greater Manchester. They are part of the GM Food Response Core Group with the NHS, GMCA, 10GM, and One Manchester housing association. Funding within Phase 2 will be to hire a part time member of staff to run the food poverty programme, staff costs for working on the GM project and tech equipment.
Infinity Initiatives offer free support and an advocacy service for residents in Greater Manchester, including a pay what you can café, art therapy groups, foodbank and a counselling service along with many recreational activities. They have supported their users with essential items and online support during lockdown. Now, funding is requested to continue their services and offer a wide range of support for their community, such as hiring a community response officer and providing counselling sessions.
Caribbean African Health Network works with the community and local organisations to reduce health inequalities in the Caribbean and African community across Manchester. Due to the present situation they have moved all services to online support via WhatsApp and Zoom and have been providing food parcels to families. The funding will allow them to continue supporting their community for the next 5 months, to purchase food and essential items, bi-lingual translators and tech needed for the project.
Oldham Foodbank provide emergency food and support to local people who are referred to the service. As well as food supplies, they aim to help people out of poverty by signposting to other support agencies, providing free access to the internet and free telephone use to contact agencies and employers. Since the start of the pandemic in March, they have issued almost 4 times the amount of vouchers within the same period last year. Funding is requested to recruit a new member of staff, a Project Manager, to deal with the increase in demand, alongside other costs such as volunteer expenses, utility bills and purchasing new technical equipment.
As ever the easiest way to support Forever Manchester is to buy a Captain Manchester Magical tombola ticket. The next draw takes place on 9th October for a first prize of £500.
And of course we have our free competition to win a £100 voucher for Freight Island: https://forevermanchester.com/enter-now-win-100-to-spend-at-manchesters-freight-island/