Pride of Manchester - UKFast
UKFast won the Business in the Community category
Blossoming Communities - Mirfield Road Community Garden
Spending their time upkeeping the beautiful gardens has enabled this group to create an inviting, inclusive and tranquil community space in Blackley. They have replaced a derelict, rundown garage site with vibrant flower-beds, home-grown vegetables and a shared space. Through instilling pride in the local area, encouraging and arranging inclusive activities to improve the space, the group changed their lives and surroundings for the better.
Bringing Communities Together - Manchester Enterprise Academy Diversity Ambassadors
This group of 30 young students from the Wythenshawe Manchester Enterprise Academy celebrate diverse cultures and heritage. They are self-driven, and mostly self-guided, and put community cohesion on the agenda, regularly reaching over a thousand fellow students with their messages, as well as local primary schools. Their activities in 2018 have included leading LGBT History Month, Black History Month, Women's History Month and other spiritual, moral, social and cultural events within the school.
Business in the Community - UKFast
Based at Birley Fields in Hulme, UKFast work with 60,000 children in more than 50 schools and organisations around Greater Manchester, aiming to increase technical education through code clubs, career master classes and digital engagement sessions. UKFast support a free breakfast club at Holy Name RC Primary School, in Moss Side, for children who come to school without breakfast, and their support for the Holiday Hunger scheme has provided 18,000 meals for children at risk of going hungry during the summer holidays.
Clean Neighbourhood - Cleaner Crumpsall
This small group is passionate about making Crumpsall a cleaner, greener and safer community. Sharing resources, their growing volunteer list of more than 50 gets involved in clean-up events to clear fly-tipping, litter and waste, and also give guidance to others on how to recycle more. They engage with local schools, youth organisations, community centres, businesses and faith groups, and have also taken a proactive approach, putting up bird boxes, planting bulbs and providing new sustainable wildlife habitats in the area.
Community Force - Irene Martin
As the driving force behind a community garden project on the Mersey Bank Estate in Chorlton, Irene has worked hard to revamp a derelict piece of land, with help from student volunteers. As the chair of the Mersey Bank Estate Group, Irene leads community ‘speed watch’ activities aimed at encouraging road safety and deterring speeding cars. She also devotes time to volunteering at the Barlow Moor Community Association, and works with partners such as Southway Housing, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police.
Community Project of the Year - The Bideford Community Centre
This Baguley centre is much used by local residents, many of whom have physical or mental-health needs, are vulnerable, socially isolated or financially deprived. The team’s mission is to foster a sense of wellbeing for anyone who frequents the centre, and they work tirelessly to offer activities such as bingo, gardening, computer sessions, arts and crafts, and days out. As well as setting up a food bank, there's an affordable, American-style diner, and a regular boutique, selling vintage clothing to raise further funds for their work.
Creativity in the Community - Manchester Street Poem
This collaboration between partners across the city aimed to address the challenging issue of homelessness in the city and offer insights into what we can do to break down barriers and help effect positive change. The resulting artwork – a performed installation and soundscape – presented contributors’ stories in their own words from a disused shop on Oldham Street. The artwork attracted 3,527 visitors and 277,262 listeners when performed on BBC’s Radio 6, and 3,480,000 viewers when featured on BBC Breakfast TV show.
Neighbour of the Year - Judy Robinson
Described as ‘the perfect neighbour’, retiree Judy is full of energy and a passion to help improve neighbourhoods. Much of her efforts have been around bringing the local community together to take part in key initiatives. She has been involved in a residents’ group since its inception in 2010 and has attended meetings in Didsbury for In Bloom, Friends of Fletcher Moss Park and The Parsonage Garden. She also supports initiatives in the avenue where she lives, including street parties.
Recycling Project of the Year - Whalley Rangers
Focus on environmental improvements, this group's largest project last year removed over 65 tonnes of fly-tipping and waste from Whalley Range streets, but they also lead several alleyway greening projects, and support residents to create sustainable gardens. Their campaign to develop a ward-wide recycling strategy saw them collaborating with partners like Biffa, housing associations, schools, faith groups, landlords and the Council. Recycling rates are up in the area and it's also noticeably cleaner.
Volunteer of the Year (individual) - John Priestley
Previously homeless, John now shares his experiences to inspire and motivate groups of young people and disadvantaged adults, supporting them to make positive, lasting change. John volunteers for Manchester International Festival (MIF), Back on Track and Streetwise Opera, and is also now a volunteer supervisor at the National Football Museum, training and supporting new volunteers from all backgrounds. He is able to motivate and develop these volunteers, inspiring them with his own story.
Volunteer of the Year (Group) - Manchester Mind, Give Help, Get Help
The three, separate Get Help, Give Help groups are all led by volunteers who have lived experience of mental-health issues. They support attendees during weekly support sessions, helping those with a variety of needs such as anxiety and isolation. Their vital work helps to increase awareness of mental health issues, demonstrating the powerful impact that listening respectfully and without judgement can have. Working with Manchester Art Gallery, they also developed a photographic exhibition, which was launched on World Mental Health Day.
Young Achiever of the Year - James Plant
With his outstanding leadership qualities within The Levenshulme Youth Project (LYP), James has clocked up more than 150 hours of voluntary work; this includes helping with projects that enable young people to explore their identity and position in society, and that show them how to manage their mental health and improve their diet and fitness. He's led numerous sports-based activities, and helped devise the LYP litter campaign, Does Anyone Care? As a sensitive and caring young man, he is seen as a fantastic role model in his community.