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28 Nov 2014 - 12:11 by john.butler

Manchester City Council are planning massive cuts to services which help maintain positive mental health and resilience and cutting all services that support people recovering from severe and enduring mental health conditions. At the same time the NHS in Manchester is planning to discharge (step down to primary care) up to 800 people from community mental health services. (This is something that is also happening in other areas across Greater Manchester as beds and staff have been cut over the past few years) .This is a group of people who statutory mental health services say they can no...

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20 Nov 2014 - 17:53 by Nigel Rose

Voluntary and community sector organisations (VCSOs) are often asked to make voluntary cuts in their funding by public authorities such as Councils. How do they to decide “What to Offer”?

The starting point is that this is a negotiation, even if the whole process is done by email/letter. The public authority is negotiating with you about a variation in a contract. It makes no difference if it is termed a grant. All relationships where there is an exchange, where an organisation gives you money and expects something in return are forms of contractual relationships. The terms of the...

12 Nov 2014 - 15:23 by Mike Wild

A lot of people in the local voluntary sector are going to be very angry today. They’re going to feel threatened, undervalued, rejected and hopeless. The Council’s budget proposals will make horrible reading for many people who’ve been working very hard for a long time to make a difference in the city. For some groups this will mean cuts to services and activities. For many it will mean many job losses – the sector is an employer too, after all. For some this may be the last straw and we may see the end of a number of organisations that have made a great contribution to the city.


23 Oct 2014 - 12:25 by michelle.foster

Wikipedia defines Open data as ‘…the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.’

So in plain English we have published data which you can use for whatever you like!

We’ve very pleased to be releasing our data on groups on our database, volunteers that are registered with us and grants awarded through our Reducing Social Isolation grants programme.

What can you find?
You can find the number of groups registered on our...

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22 Aug 2014 - 15:00 by Mike Wild

Four weeks to go and the Spirit of Manchester Festival is building up nicely.

Below is a Google Map of all the venues and events in the Spirit of Manchester Festival. It's my hope that over the next few weeks, we'll see more and more markers on this map. Wouldn't it be great if we could cover the city? If you're a local voluntary sector group and you've not yet got involved, there's still time. Just go to our festival webpage www....

11 Aug 2014 - 13:57 by miriam.belfield

 Out of the many reasons I applied for an internship, probably the one I dwelt on most was the fear of being unprepared for the real world come summer 2015 when I graduate. As I scrolled through available opportunities nothing appeared to spring out at me and I had almost become resigned to the fact that I would return home for the summer in search of any sort of employment that would tide me over till September. That was when I discovered the Spirit of Manchester Internship, a new initiative that was looking for someone to organise a Festival to celebrate the voluntary work that goes on...

31 Jul 2014 - 13:40 by Mike Wild

One of the things I love most about working in the voluntary sector is that if you have a really good idea you can generally find a way to make it happen. It might take a while – things like our State of the Sector and Civil Economy work were on my wishlist for years before we were finally able to publish the finished work. But sometimes you can be taken by surprise at how fast you can go from the idea to it actually happening.

Back in January...

19 Jun 2014 - 10:26 by Mike Wild

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen announcements of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service and the Birthday Honours. Of course I always check these to see if any local people or groups have won recognition for their work and it’s been great to see Manchester well represented. Here’s a quick list

Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2014

Abraham Moss Warriors

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4 Jun 2014 - 13:18 by Mike Wild

I’ve just come back from being on the BBC Breakfast sofa talking about volunteering. As is always the case with these things, it’s all very rushed and last minute and it’s over in a flash. Actually that’s one of good things in a sense because it gives you less time to panic! It was a great opportunity to fly the flag for volunteering in the middle of Volunteers Week and to talk about the sheer wealth of volunteering which happens in Manchester, as one exampleof the amazing work of volunteers across the whole country.

I talked about the 94,000 volunteers who give their time in...

7 May 2014 - 13:55 by Nigel Rose

In part 1 of this article I sketched out some issues to consider when taking into account evidence of past performance in decision-making about funding. In part 2, I attempt to provide some answers.

It would be easier if there was a simple right way to approach the problem - a set of rules about what to do - but commissioning of services is usually fairly messy. It is an attempt to reconcile and balance competing sets of views and priorities using available evidence in a critical and...