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

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

Award criteriaSpirit of Manchester Awards 2019

A community space can be a piece of land or a building available for use by the community. Nominations much must show:

  • Best use of a community space
  • How the space is seen as central within the community
  • The impact it has within the community

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 Space, made by our Community Reporters, will be shown on the night.

Community Space Award Shortlist

The Aquarius Centre

One ManchesterThe Aquarius Centre in Hulme is a popular community space that hosts a wide variety of services, community events, and drop-in sessions, which benefit local community members. The centre had previously been closed for a number of years before re-opening in 2018 after a huge renovation project, much to the delight of community groups and residents.

The centre plays host to a variety of different community groups who use the space for activities including an art club, sewing group, karate classes, teaching computer literacy skills, and a brand-new Community Grocer project.

The Community Grocer is a fantastic project, which gives members access to a shop which provides them with essential groceries and household items. For just £2.50, members get a full weeks-worth of shopping for up to the value of £12. Other Community Grocer projects across areas of Manchester have, like the Aquarius Centre, already made a huge impact on the lives of local residents, as they also provide them with access to health and employment services.

Website: http://aquariuscommunitycentre.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @aquariushulme


The Circus House

The Circus HouseThe Circus House runs three community shows every year so that people can experience performing in the city centre, on a theatre stage and at The Circus House. It provides training space and development opportunities for younger students like the CAT programme (Centre for Advanced Training – run in collaboration with the National Centre for Circus Arts in London).

They utilise funding to provide free sessions to groups who would benefit – currently they're running a series of free sessions for young carers in Manchester.

They provide a safe space for creativity and expression, and provide a timetable of activities that encourages physical exercise, mental stimulation, and the development of community (which in turn is all incredible for mental health – which is a huge problem everywhere at the moment).

Website: www.thecircushouse.co.uk
Facebook: @TCHmanchester
Twitter: @TheCircusHouse


The Edge Theatre and Arts Centre

The Edge TheatreThe Edge is Manchester's Theatre for Participation in Chorlton in a transformed former Victoria Red Cross hospital.  Participation runs through everything we do, putting people at the heart of our activities.

We deliver high quality projects often in partnership with other specialist agencies, working predominantly with people who are deemed disadvantaged or hard to reach: offenders/those at risk of offending; substance mis-users; homeless people/those at risk of homelessness (in partnership with The Booth Centre); people with learning disabilities; unemployed people; those who are lonely and isolated and the local community more widely. Over 600 people come here each week to get involved in a variety of arts activities.

We believe everyone should have access to the Arts as a basic human right and benefit from its power to affect profound social change. We use the Arts to develop people's self-esteem, confidence, communication skills and sense of well-being. We use it for community cohesion, conflict resolution, as an alternative to negative activity and to give people a voice. Our Award Winning Cafe, The Dressing Room, is a focal point for our training programme for people with learning disabilities, helping them learn important life skills and preparing them for the job's market.

Website: www.edgetheatre.co.uk 
Facebook: @TheEdgeTheatre
Twitter: @TheEdgeMcr


Ladybarn Community Hub

Ladybarn Community HubSince reopening last year after a period of major uncertainty over its future, Ladybarn Community Hub has quickly re-established itself as a vital space for all ages in Ladybarn. The main hall hosts a wide range of community events every week, throughout the week: community playgroups and Sure Start Stay and Play Group for under 5s, youth clubs, yoga, lunch clubs for over 50s, and Konnect and Fizz Club for young adults with disabilities.

Meanwhile, the IT room is used as a meeting space by a variety of community organisations, and for community drop-in and consultation events on issues ranging from the maintenance of Kingswood Park, to improvement plans for Ladybarn District Centre. Outside, there is a garden that grows fresh fruit and vegetables and the kitchen hosts a Cooking Group that teaches people of all ages vital cookery skills.

At a time of austerity, services that support parents, young people, older residents and people with disabilities, living in deprived areas, are absolutely critical. The passion and energy that the staff, volunteers and Trustees put in to running the Hub shows in the positive engagement by residents of all ages, making the best possible use of this invaluable community resource.

Facebook: @ladybarncommunityhub


LGBT Foundation

LGBT Foundation Priode conferenceLGBT Foundation’s community resource centre provides a vital space and lifeline for so many in Manchester’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities.

Last year, LGBT Foundation distributed over a quarter of a million loose condoms and sachets of lube across Greater Manchester. They delivered 498 rapid HIV tests and 260 full sexual health screenings alongside providing access to sexual wellbeing advice and support. Their substance misuse programme supported 128 people across 885 interactions including 1-2-1 and group support. The Domestic Abuse programme helped 29 people with practical housing advice and 1:1 support.

They partnered with the University of Manchester to deliver voice and communication workshops to 35 people. Their lesbian and bi women’s community events and skills workshops were attended 446 times. Their support and social groups were attended a further 561 times. The Befriending Service supported 46 new people to build their support networks, make friends and reduce loneliness. Their Talking Therapies team delivered 1035 sessions of LGBT affirmative counselling to 276 people. Their crisis helpline and pop-in support helped 2,634 people with nowhere else to turn.All this vital work bringing the community together and supporting people when they need it most was delivered in one space LGBT Foundation’s community resource centre at 5 Richmond Street.

Website: https://lgbt.foundation/
Facebook: @LGBTfdn
Twitter: @LGBTfdn


Manchester Museum

Manchester MuseumThe Manchester Museum has created an amazing community space at the Museum for groups, individuals, students and any member of the public to use. Its opened up the third floor where there is now a café and lots of desk space (hot desking) for anyone to use .This is all amongst the galleries and exhibitions making it all really nice to be working in such great surroundings. There is also lots of other lovely spaces for groups to book and use at no cost.

Across the Museum they have created other spaces, small and large, and opened them for the use of the public. Regular community events are being held in the Museum and it has extended its opening hours on a Thursday to accommodate evening events specially designed to bring communities into the Museum. They have been really creative about opening up all parts of the Museum to the public and for public use where possible.

Website: www.museum.manchester.ac.uk
Facebook: @ManchesterMuseum
Twitter: @mcrmuseum


Manchester Settlement

Manchester SettlementManchester Settlement has been providing outcomes for the people of North Manchester through Creating Cycles of Community Change for 120 years. Our fantastic community space – The New Roundhouse in Openshaw is critical to how we play a community anchor role, co-producing, empowering and enabling people to get involved in their community to drive change.

The building allows us to directly deliver a range of community and targeted services, and to facilitate the provision of services by other organisations. Everything that happens here is focussed upon how we can enrol people into our model of – Creating Cycles of Community Change: Needs – we jointly problem solve
Strengths – we build confidence through strengths
Activity – we provide options for getting physically and emotionally active
Community – we provide opportunities and systems to help others

Our broad community helps each other as follows:

  • children and parents benefit from our nursery, or our after-school clubs
  • volunteers at youth and sport clubs
  • older people attending volunteer led education, health and activity sessions
  • young adults who start living in the community as care leavers who benefit from supported housing
  • adults taking part in prescribed or socially prescribed activity, from Aids Testing to Economics to Tai Chi

Website: www.manchestersettlement.org.uk
Facebook: @ManchesterSettlementCommunity
Twitter: @mcrsettlement


Miles Platting Community Grocer

Miles Platting Community GrocersPrior to Miles Platting Community Grocer taking over the ground floor flat at Queensbury Court it was an unused space for many years. Over the past 10 years a number of vital community services have been removed from Miles Platting including local shops. The community grocer provides the neighbourhood with a much needed community space where residents can meet, have a brew, chat and find out about support services available to them.

Since taking the space over in July 2017, the volunteer team have created a community food hub where up to 30 local residents visit each week for a weekly shop. The space has hosted a number of courses for local residents including: cooking courses, Food Safety Level 2 and arts and craft sessions.

Being mindful of the lack of social spaces in the area and responding to members requests, the volunteer team have developed a café area where members can use free WiFi, have a brew and breakfast while they wait to shop. The volunteer team recently became part of a citywide community led savings scheme where local residents can save individually and contribute to a community fund which goes towards something that the community will benefit from.

Website: www.healthymehealthycommunities.co.uk/grocer-join.html
Facebook: @HMHCmcr
Twitter: @hmhcmcr


Milk and Honey Cafe

Milk and Honey CafeMilk and Honey Cafe is a not-for-profit, volunteer run, community cafe that opened 18 months ago on Oxford Road. It is a beautiful, well-crafted space where they upcycle locally sourced surplus ingredients into delicious food, and just for that it should win this award!

What makes Milk and Honey so special is the vision behind it and the volunteers. The vision is for a community café that serves the city, where people, charities and organisations cross paths and share ideas and hopes. The volunteers are a mix of students, locals and people from charities and volunteering agencies such as Workfit and the DePaul trust. The volunteers work together to create the food and serve the drinks, all supported by an excellent staff team.

Milk and Honey offers space for many external community groups such as Kids of Colour, Social Enterprise Summit and MICRA. Alongside these external events there are a number of internal events such as Breakfast Yoga, Cooking demonstration, LGBTQI+ events and Multi-Faith events. Milk and Honey is a well-loved community café on Oxford Road that offers an alternative not-for-profit narrative to many of the other cafés.

Website: https://milkandhoneycafe.org/
Facebook: @MilkandHoneycafeManchester
Instagram: milkhoneymcr
Twitter: @milkhoneyMCR


Northmoor Community Association

Northmoor Community AssociationNorthmoor Social Enterprise Laundrette: multi-purpose space, central in the community, over 260 customers weekly. Multi-skilled staff, high standard of service, open 7 days until 8pm. Providing information, outreach support for HMRC and Welfare Advice, I.T./ printing, dry cleaning, ironing, alterations and refreshments; more importantly it connects people by offering a seat for a chat.

More than a Laundrette; a hub and hive of activity engaging all ages from children’s book station (in partnership with Wood Street Mission), collection point for Baby Boxes for expectant parents (in partnership with the Baby Box Co). Staff have a connection with customers, being directly employed from the local community they serve.

Service user feedback: “Friendly, convenient, Modern and up to date”; “only laundrette in South Manchester I feel safe using”; “Local, easy to access, Fabulous staff”; “great friendly and the staff are so helpful”; “very important part of the community”; “Very important saves me time no stress excellent customer service, the girls are a credit”; “more than a laundrette, I've used many laundrette, I wouldn’t use any other now”; “Quick, efficient service with a smile always”; “Great customer service and a lot of people use it”.

Website: www.northmoorcommunity.co.uk
Facebook: @northmoorcommunityassociation
Twitter: @Nmoor_Community


The Old Abbey Taphouse

The Old Abbey Tap HouseIt was great to see The Old Abbey Taphouse going from an ambitious project of reviving a pub in the middle of an office estate starting off with a fairly scarce budget to become the vibrant, safe and inclusive community space that it is today! It only goes to show the results of honesty, hard work and genuine wish to give back to the communities that make Manchester the great city that it is.

Going way beyond being just a regular pub, they have managed to create a STEAM-focused community hub, The Old Abbey Taphouse addresses this need through provision of overlapping spaces that are shared by both community and private stakeholders.

The opportunities afforded by the overlaps between the spaces – and the interaction between business, academic and community stakeholders – produces exciting and unexpected opportunities.Their tireless work finds them involved in bringing multiple service to the community: from supporting individuals back in to work to hosting and advocating a lot of projects supporting women achieve their financial, helping refugees in partnership with the Gaskell Project and other charities, and providing a safe space for communities like LGBT or ethnic minorities.

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