Forever Manchester: Bringing Communities Together at Christmas

Forever Manchester has always believed that connected communities make stronger, happier communities, and that’s why, for the last few years, at summer and Christmas, they have awarded funds for people to host events in their communities.

Following the huge interest from community groups to celebrate Christmas, alongside the support received from their Corporate Partners, Forever Manchester has been able to fund 75 more groups than they originally planned for. We’re so pleased that we’ve been able to support Forever Manchester in doing this.

Here are some of the groups that will be bringing their local communities together this Christmas:

  • Bury Veterans Breakfast Hub. Some of the Armed Forces Veterans community in the Radcliffe area struggle mentally and financially, together with isolation. Christmas is a constant worry, plus bills, food, and being unable to afford Christmas presents for family and relatives. They are organising a Christmas party in a safe, warm environment with DJ, pie and peas, and are asking the local supermarkets to provide raffle prizes, for veterans, their families, the elderly and the local voluntary community groups. This event will encourage everyone that attends to mix, chat, showcasing to the community what help is available to them, build up friendships and encourage volunteering if fit enough, all in all, combating isolation in an enjoyable way.
  • Friends of Astley Street Park. The group, based in Wigan, will hold a Christmas event including brass band, Santa, market stalls, reindeers and will raise money through a raffle. The money raised will be used to fund future events and improvements to the park. The event will bring the community together to sing carols and use the park and hopefully promote the park to other residents.
  • Manchester Carers Forum. This year the forum decided to keep the parties local to the carer support groups they already run rather than have one big event in central Manchester. They asked the groups what they wanted from the parties and it will be a mix of games, music and food within the groups themselves, with other groups choosing to go to a local restaurant for a meal with their fellow carers/friends.
  • Ashton Breast Cancer Support Group. The ladies that attend the Breast Cancer Support group every month will have a festive lunch and “have one day to forget about all their worries of cancer, to eat, laugh and be happy! To try and put our worries about secondary cancer behind us, even if only for a little while. Once again we have lost another lady from the group this year, again 10 years after her first diagnosis and as we have all had more or less the same cancer 10 years ago, it is very worrying!”
  • Socially Yours. Members of the group and wider community, based in Stockport, will come together and share a Christmas meal together. It will bring a bit of happiness for some who we know may not see so much day to day. It will provide a place of warmth and it will embody the spirit of Christmas. They will have a visit from Santa, give small gifts to everyone and provide food from a local community enterprise, helping to give back that way too. There will be music, carols and Christmas crackers!

You can find the full list of the 175 community groups funded here.

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