Tonight is the “manVcam” rally in on Albert Square in Manchester. Some local voluntary and community groups have been wondering about whether it’s appropriate to go along, so here's my take on it.
As I write this, the team are just about to head over to the Mechanics Institute for today's Emergency Voluntary Sector Assembly event to discuss the impact of Council budget proposals on the work of the voluntary and community groups in Manchester.
Manchester City Council has launched the main consultation on its 2015-17 budget options, along with a number of individual consultations on specific elements.
Options for consultation were agreed by the council’s Executive on Wednesday 26 November.
They aim to address an estimated funding shortfall of £59m in 2015/16, potentially rising to £90 million in 2016/17.
A lot of people in the local voluntary sector are going to be very angry today. They’re going to feel threatened, undervalued, rejected and hopeless. The Council’s budget proposals will make horrible reading for many people who’ve been working very hard for a long time to make a difference in the city. For some groups this will mean cuts to services and activities. For many it will mean many job losses – the sector is an employer too, after all. For some this may be the last straw and we may see the end of a number of organisations that have made a great contribution to the city.
Grow Wild is awarding funding of £1,000 to £4,000 to community groups that want to bring people together to transform a communal space by sowing and growing UK native plants.
If your group has an inspiring idea to connect people to nature, then apply before 2 December 2014 for your chance to join the lively network.
Grow wild are looking to fund at least 60 groups in 2015 across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Manchester and Liverpool have launched a joint bid, called A Tale of Two Cities, to win £120,000 of funding from Kew Gardens for wildflower planting.
One community will receive the Grow Wild funding to create an inspiring wild flower haven for everyone to enjoy – and you can help decide who wins.
This is a fantastic opportunity to bring a splash of colour to the city - in the words of the council's biodiversity officer Dave Barlow, "we've gone from grey to green, now let's go from drab to fab!" - and will also be a great boost for the cities bees and other pollinators.
One of the things I love most about working in the voluntary sector is that if you have a really good idea you can generally find a way to make it happen. It might take a while – things like our State of the Sector and Civil Economy work were on my wishlist for years before we were finally able to publish the finished work. But sometimes you can be taken by surprise at how fast you can go from the idea to it actually happening.
People experiencing poverty and disadvantage are often the most affected by severe weather such as heat waves and flooding. Severe weather is likely to occur more often with a changing climate, increasing the demand for voluntary and community sector services.
Clean City is a project to make Manchester greener and cleaner, and is funded by Manchester Airport. East Manchester regeneration team have been allocated a pot of money from the Clean City fund and now they're organising some drop in events so that local businesses and residents can pop in and tell them what the priorities should be for how the money is spent.
The Pride in East Manchester project has been allocated funding, and need you to tell them your ideas on how this can be used to improve the area.