Mary and Joseph House
Mary and Joseph House offer supporting living for men who are in recovery from alcohol dependency. We have now offered two grants – the first was used to clear an overgrown area in the grounds to create a woodland walk with seating, homes for wildlife and a chicken coop (Cluckingham Palace!). A second grant will enable the residents to develop an outdoor games area with giant chess board and a bowling alley.
“Residents have been able to take pride in their work, share it with their friends and family. It has built confidence, developed friendships and given a number of people a purpose, a reason to get out of bed, and created a sense of belonging.”
Manchester Urban Diggers (MUD)
A first grant was used to train a volunteer in therapeutic gardening and the group has recently secured a second grant to deliver the ‘Dig Yourself Out’ programme for 18-25 year old males who may have experience of being involved in the care system, youth justice system and/or mental health services who may be suffering with low mood, anxiety or isolation.
“Being able to gain further understanding and insight in to Therapeutic Gardening has given us the confidence and knowledge in how to set up an appropriate garden for users with different needs.”
“It has enabled us to provide an important place for people with health and mental health issues to meet within the Wythenshawe community, but it’s not all about sitting, it’s about engaging and moving and they love it.”
The grant supported the organisation's programme of activities to connect young professionals and older neighbours, to address isolation, create stronger, more connected communities and improve wellbeing and confidence. A second grant was awarded in May 2020 so that the group could move its activities online, ensuring that the strong relationships could continue.
“We see our first year as the foundation for bigger, more creative and more ambitious projects, both terms of the numbers of people involved, the range of geography we cover and the number of outputs and strength of impact we deliver.”
This project is service-user led and supported a group of service users to write, produce and perform their own performance, based on their own experiences. It also challenged stigmas around mental illness. A second grant enabled the group to compile a booklet of their written work.
“Well, just on the basics of in confidence, communication and motivation, every single participant has grown. They also tell me how proud their families are and can see the difference it has made to them.”
East Manchester User Group and Community Works
These groups provide four peer support group sessions each week. Based in East Manchester, the groups offer mutual support, shared lunches, access to information and advice and learning experiences.
Gorton Visual Arts
'Let me introduce myself' invited people to freely draw and paint a portrait of themselves, using only colours that reflect their personalities and the life that surrounds them. The portraits were photographed and printed onto a banner which was displayed on the railings of Debdale Park.
Service users and carers participate in three different decision-making groups for our Manchester Wellbeing Fund. This model has been running for nearly three years with service users, carers and community reps sitting alongside GMMH staff working in equal partnership to award grants. Over 470 projects have benefited so far and we have offered more than £950k to projects that support community wellbeing
The three decision-making groups (for north, central and south Manchester) meet monthly and are at their best when service users, carers and community representatives are fully involved – and it's a great opportunity to influence how funding is used in local areas.
The meetings normally last 1½-2 hours. Papers are sent out in advance by email and copies are available at the meetings. In line with GMMH policy, we can pay service users and carers for their commitment and also cover out-of-pocket travel costs. During COVID-19, meetings are held using Microsoft Teams. However, with consent, we are still able to pay service users and carers for their time.
- North – 1.30 pm on the last Tuesday of every month
- Central – 10.30 am on the last Wednesday of every month
- South – 1.30 pm on the last Wednesday of every month