We Love MCR Charity has released a report to measure the impact in Manchester of the first 6 months of the Covid-19 Community Response Fund launched in late March.
With over £965,000 already warded to local groups ad charities tackling the problems caused and exacerbated by the pandemic, the Impact Report reveals that over 50,000 Manchester people have been supported by the grants and 302 grants have been awarded to frontline groups and charities
£180,000 was awarded in Mental Health & Wellbeing grants, £427,000 was awarded in Food Poverty & Distribution grants, £192,000 in Engagement with Young People grants and £150,000 awarded in Advice & Protection Services grants
The potential for immediate and profound adverse impacts across Manchester, particularly to vulnerable communities, was evident as the first Lockdown approached. Groups receiving grants from We Love MCR’s Community Response Fund are working in many areas of need in Manchester, including domestic violence, food poverty, disability, LGBTQ, homelessness, digital disadvantage, loneliness and special educational needs.
Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Tommy Judge, Chair of We Love MCR Charity, said “This is We Love MCR’s biggest ever campaign. My thanks go to everyone who has donated to our Fund. It has not only improved and protected lives – in some cases it has saved lives”.
Ged Carter, Head of We Love MCR Charity added “The complex and urgent needs created by the pandemic are huge and ongoing. We’re delighted we’ve been able to address problems around food poverty, mental health, protection of vulnerable people and digital disadvantage. We’re proud of our work to stop hunger spreading like the virus in Manchester. And we’re especially proud to fund seven organisations tackling domestic violence locally. We want to do more, but we need more donations to continue our vital work.”
The Fund was launched on 25 March 2020, and invited community groups and charities to apply for funds to tackle problems caused or exacerbated by the pandemic. Many of the needs were urgent, so We Love MCR designed a process where applicants would receive a decision in principle on their bids with 48 hours. This meant the voluntary Trustees were working on bids 7 days a week to keep to this bold offer.
Among the many organisations helped were the Salvation Army Openshaw:
‘’It was a brilliant, timely Grant that kept the flow of food parcels going when we thought we would have real problems, especially in the early stages of the lockdown when our food bank had to run up to 2000-3000% normal capacity. It was fantastic to know that we weren’t alone.’’
While Levenshulme Youth Project said :
“We Love MCR enabled us to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic. We traditionally work face-to-face with young people. The Fund helped us to develop an online presence, where we could maintain contact with our members and create innovative ways of working that enabled young people to flourish both during and hopefully after the pandemic.’’