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Cast your vote for the Community Cohesion Spirit of Manchester Award 2019

This is your chance to vote for the winner of our Community Cohesion Spirit of Manchester Award 2019!

Award criteria Spirit of Manchester Awards 2019
For an individual or group who has done some great work to bring communities together to understand, appreciate and positively value each other. The work must have taken place in Manchester within the last 12 months. Nominations must show:

  • Activities which have brought together people from across more than one community. These can be communities which are about a shared place, a shared identity or shared interests
  • How they promote growing together in harmony rather than conflict and celebrate the diverse nature of the people who live, work and study in this city

Please read all the options below, and cast your vote at the bottom of the page. Voting closes at 4pm on 31 July 2019. The winner will be announced in August.

Please note: there is only one vote per person, due to the set-up of the poll only one vote can be cast per computer as a vote is identified by an IP address.

The winner will be invited to attend the Spirit of Manchester Awards 2019 ceremony to receive their award and the film of the winning Community Cohesion, made by our Community Reporters, will be shown on the night.

Community Cohesion Award Shortlist

Creative Design and Manufacture UK Limited

Creative Design and Manufacture UK LimitedCreative Design and Manufacture UK (CDM UK) uses textile skills training as a tool to maximise people’s potential, working with disadvantaged people with various personal issues, from deprivation to domestic, drug and sexual abuse; depression, isolation, loneliness and self-harm; physical, mental and learning disability and physical, mental, emotional and psychological health.

We work across Manchester, focusing in areas with significant BME population such as City Centre, Ardwick, Longsight, Levenshulme, Rusholme, Moss Side, Hulme, Gorton, Cheetham Hill and Crumpsall. We work with diverse communities, from African and Caribbean to Asian, Chinese, Arab, European and British communities, from Christians and Muslims to Jews, Buddhists, Hindu, Sikh and people of no faith, and also people from the LGBT community – all working together in our workshops in harmony towards a common goal to transform their lives for the better.

CDM UK is a member of RadEqual Network, We Stand Together, Macc, GMCVO, Faith Network 4 Manchester, Manchester Muslim-Jewish Forum, Manchester BME Network and has established partnership/working relationship with a number of statutory, voluntary and community organisations and faith, diversity and industry networks. This includes local authority, mosques, churches, synagogues, temples, other faith organisations, schools, community groups representing different ethnic heritage and LGBT group.

Website: www.creativedesignmanufacture.com
Facebook: @creativedesignmanufacture
Twitter: @UkCDM


Dimobi Children Disability Trust

Dimobi Children Disability TrustDimobi work in communities to assist and connect families/carers with learning disabilities and autism to be a strong voice for improving the support they need. They provide, support, education and practical advice to families and third sector, education, health and the general public. They hold social activities for families and children and the community. Their work with Manchester local families/carers overcomes the isolation, stigma, cultural myths and lack of support awareness for some families with children with disabilities. 

The activities include holding regular parent forums, providing information/advice and signposting to services for families, helping families with social care and special education issues and challenging statutory decisions, providing workshops and training and City communities to assist and connect families, Community Cohesion, health and well being, working with schools and to be a strong voice for improving the support they do.

This Charity brings the community together with the work they do, their events help the community to come together, even their coffee morning is open for everyone from youth to the elderly. l never knew there are so many people struggling. Dimobi brought a smile to so many people in our community. Their work is excellent.

Website: www.dimobitrust.org.uk

Facebook: @www.dimobitrust.org.uk

Twitter: @TrustDimobi



Europia TeamEuropia is the only registered charity to exclusively serve all European Expats in Greater Manchester. In the past 10 years, we are pleased to have grown from strength to strength. With Brexit looming upon us there is a lot of confusion about the rights of EU expats. This has a strong effect on the wellbeing of our community members. To overcome this challenge, we partnered with the Law Centre Network to create seven question and answer sessions across Greater Manchester.

We worked creatively with our existing community navigators and created bespoke language and culturally specific session with the Spanish, Lithuanian, Polish and Latvian communities. All the participants felt they had learned much more about the EU settlement system. We were able to reach audiences and communities who are acutely underrepresented. Despite some communities having their own groups and social circles, many people were still unaware of their requirement to sign up to EU settlement scheme. Europa has now started a Brexit Policy with the support from GMCVO and will soon launch Brexit related activities over the next three months.

Website: https://europia.org.uk/
Facebook: @EuropiaMcr
Twitter: @EuropiaMcr


Europia Art Collective

Europia Arts CollectiveThe launch of Europia’s new art collective celebrates European art and artists across Europe and in Manchester. It is a unique showcase, which promotes talent and creativity in these challenging and uncertain times. There is nothing like the power of art to bring people together – it nurtures freedom, authenticity and growth of creative expression. It can provide a starting point for difficult conversations, helping us to rediscover our common humanity.

Against the backdrop of a challenging political environment the exchange of information and ideas, and the opportunity to connect with others is more important than ever. Regardless of the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations we must be ‘united in diversity’. Art and culture provide the bridge for better living together.

Website: https://europia.org.uk/art-and-culture/europia-arts-collective/
Facebook: @artandcultureEuropia
Twitter: @eartscollective


Fallowfield Community Grocers

Fallowfiled Community GrowersFallowfield Community Grocers is led by volunteers ranging from ages 40s-90+ with a variety of language and cultural backgrounds reflecting their diverse community. For the majority, this is their main community activity; many have explained they enjoy meeting different types of people.

A volunteer with experience in women’s journalism organised a vibrant International Women’s day event; this got customers talking about related issues and sharing stories. A customer who is an artist chatted about her women’s related work and following enthusiasm shown by customers, we organised a free clay workshop to run alongside our Grocers. Two Pakistani volunteers have carried out cooking demonstrations of their native cuisine, along with samples and recipes. Volunteers piloted free bingo and found it is great for interaction and removes language as a barrier, and now run this monthly.

Fallowfield Grocers volunteers are currently working with The Place staff to provide an Eid celebration for all community members to attend, and have invited leaders from other faith groups. Due to running positive and inclusive activities, and their friendly, fair, and kind attitudes, the volunteers have helped bring people together in their local community space to promote knowledge, understanding, and tolerance.

Website: https://theplacefallowfield.co.uk/?page_id=330
Facebook: @ThePlaceFallowfield
Twitter: @ThePlaceM14


Invisible Manchester

Invisible ManchesterInvisible (Manchester) is part of Invisible Cities, a global social enterprise that trains people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their city and encourages people to #seethingsdifferently. We provide alternative and creative tours of Manchester with the aim to raise public awareness of homelessness by breaking down the negative stereotypes of people living on the streets.

Our tour guides are given the platform to feel empowered, to tell their story and have their voices heard. Through tour guiding, they earn a small amount of money, gain transferable skills and regain their self-confidence – all of which expand their future horizons.

Charity Street Soccer Scotland, researched public attitude towards homelessness in 2017, and found that 41% of those questioned were "fearful" of approaching the homeless. Our tours create an environment in which human compassion and empathy are celebrated to allow for community cohesion. Whilst also changing perceptions of the streets, the tours encourage members of the public to become active participants in their community by volunteering, donating money or actually stopping and talking to a person living on the street.

Website: https://invisible-cities.org/cities/manchester
Facebook: @invisiblemanchester
Instagram: invisiblemanchester
Twitter: @InvisibleMcr


Manchester BME Network

Manchester BME NetworkThe MBMEN has engaged positively in the RadEqual programme hosted by Manchester City Council. It has recently run a great programme with RadEqual called Love our City which has reached over 120 women and girls who have come together from a wide spectrum of communities including: Sudanese, Caribbean, African, Turkish, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and others to learn about key issues and share experiences. The programme has provided them with a wide knowledge of each others communities, empowered them and given them confidence. They worked together and learnt about issues related to radicalisation,  far right activity and social media.

The programme developed great strength between communities who have continued to work together, develop further, reach more communities and are developing another bigger programme of Cohesion.

Website: www.manchesterbmenetwork.co.uk
Twitter: @MancBMEnetwork


Manchester Cares

Manchester CaresManchester Cares is a newly started community network of young professionals and older neighbours who spend time together with the aim of helping one another, providing friendship, and reducing social isolation and loneliness in our rapidly changing city.

The network was created in response to Manchester’s recent fast-paced growth over recent years, and connects older people (often who have deep roots in their community, but few connections), with young professionals (who may have hundreds of connections in the social media age, but often no roots in their communities), to make sure that everyone feels valued and visible.

Manchester Cares supports older neighbours to access all that our city has to offer in the way of culture, history and innovation – the idea is to ensure that everyone feels a part of, and not left behind by, the ever-changing landscape.

Activities with the group include film nights, cooking clubs, theatre trips, quizzes and music nights and dances, as well as one-off events such as Pride events, Easter parties and visits to the workplaces of the volunteers. The time, friendship and fun that both the younger and older neighbours give at these social gatherings is what makes the community network so brilliant.

Website: https://manchestercares.org.uk
Facebook: @MCRCares
Twitter: @ManchesterCares


Manchester City of Sanctuary

Mancherster City of SanctuaryManchester City of Sanctuary has done an amazing job bringing people together. We are from different countries, different religions and different backgrounds. They give us the chance to make friends with local Manchester people. We have lost everything: our houses, our families, our jobs, our language, our purpose, but they involve asylum seekers in activities so that we have a new family in Manchester.

Our monthly Welcome Sessions are run by asylum seekers and local volunteers for people who are new to the City. Our Big Conversation events are held in beautiful spaces like the Art Galleries and Museums. So we feel special, like we belong to our new city and can contribute something. We speak many different languages but we are united in learning our new language so we can communicate with our neighbours.

We learn through weekly lessons with Talk English volunteers. We practise when we go walking in the countryside with Bridget and her friends. We learn to cycle and have a lot of fun with volunteers at the Bike Hive. They also train us in volunteering skills so we can get involved in our new city. Together we are making Manchester safer for refugees and asylum seekers.

Website: https://manchester.cityofsanctuary.org/
Facebook: @manchestercityofsanctuary
Twitter: @ManchesterCoS


Migrant Support

Migrant SupportMigrant Support is based close to Piccadilly Gardens, at the heart of the multicultural city.  This position reflects the role of the organisation in bringing together a very diverse constituency, people with very different experiences of the world.  From China to Afghanistan to Guinea-Bissau to Guatemala, our users come together in classes and other projects, sharing their stories and learning together as migrants to and members of the Manchester community. 

As well as offering English classes, advocacy and advice, Migrant Support provides a space for some of the most marginalised groups in the city to build both support networks and self-confidence. This combination of developing social and cultural capital is a key factor in enabling community cohesion, as groups who can otherwise feel isolated and vulnerable develop the tools to navigate their new environment.

I will never forget the first few sessions I attended Migrant Support as a volunteer teacher of English. The relaxed, mutually-supportive atmosphere made me feel part of something important: a genuine space of respect for and engagement with difference. It provides a model for how community cohesion can operate productively to create vibrant new culture out of the multiple histories that inform the city.

Website: www.migrantsupport.org.uk
Facebook: @Msm-All-Migrants
Twitter: @MigrantsSupport


The Old Abbey Taphouse

The Old Abbey TaphouseThe Old Abbey Taphouse (TOAT) is a beautiful melting pot in Hulme acting as a hub for communities.  It welcomes everyone from every walk of life.  From poetry nights, The Gaskell Garden Project, making early Neolithic pots, Alt Femme nights celebrating sexual diversity and expression...liaising with the workers at the Science Park and providing catering, etc...what more could you want!

I feel like I work for a very innovative, open minded and progressive team who strive to hold on to the roots of an old school pub environment but also, meshing with the changes in modern society. In an era where people, both young and old, are socially isolated by technological advancements this pub acts as a small, yet fundamentally important marker, in actively changing this. I'm very proud to be part of The Old Abbey Taphouse!

Website: https://theoldabbeytaphouse.weebly.com/
Facebook: @abbeyinnmcr
Twitter: @old_abbey_msp


Rainbow Surprise

Rainbow SurpriseI was helped by the charity in my time of need, and have been to a few of their charity events, which brings people from all walks of life, backgrounds and faith together. Their Halloween event held at Abraham moss Manchester was a spark of the colourful fireworks they have on offer in the community.

Their play scheme is well organised and entertaining, as there is nothing much for children in the area in the holidays, the play scheme brings a lifeline to working parents like me, their food drive helps so many families.

The amount of hard work and time given by the charity workers is commendable. Thank you rainbow surprise.

Website: www.rainbowsurprise.com
Facebook: @rainbowsurprisemcr
Twitter: @surpriserainbow


Widows Empowerment Trust

Widows Empowerment TrustAt The Widows Empowerment Trust, a charity supporting people who have experienced bereavement, we believe diversity, inclusion and acceptance is one of the foundations the Trust is built on. Our charity doesn´t just focus on engaging volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds, it also works to make people of different ages come together and work for a common vision.

Widows Empowerment Trust works first and foremost to counteract loneliness and help people who have experienced grief live better lives with support and community. One of the ways we achieve this is to engage service users in activities, together with volunteers. This builds self-esteem on both sides and sometimes close friendships, makes everyone involved feel valued.

A recent example is from Valentine´s Day, where our CEO engaged both service users and volunteers to join her in donating toys to Manchester Royal Children´s Hospital as a way of giving back to the community. Our foundation is created on inclusion and that no matter your ability and background, you will always be welcome and valued, and this is something The Trust is passionate about, applying it to their own work and also further in the community.

Website: https://widowsempowerment.com/
Facebook: @widowsempowerment
Twitter: @WidowsEmpTrust