We have compiled a list of online activities, campaigns, resources and events that you can get involved with from home. We will be updating this each week so do be sure to check back regularly!
Manchester Kindness Stories: At Macc we are trying to capture some of the amazing stuff currently happening across Manchester with people responding to the current situation by supporting each other. These very short stories are about volunteers, community groups, neighbours and businesses stepping up to help each other during the COVID-19 crisis. They range from people preparing and distributing food to those that need it, to creative projects to inspire hope like the rainbows in windows or crocheted hearts for COVID patients and their loved ones. These stories are added to the Manchester Kindness Stories page and are tweeted via @McrCommCentral.
Please tell us what you have been doing or what is happening in your community. We are looking for around 100 words and ideally a few pictures, contact Hannah with your story or for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
MACFEST: MACFESTUK is a ground-breaking, award-winning festival hosted across Greater Manchester and the North West. They celebrate art, literature, music, history, culture, photography, cuisine, children, youth and women and the heritage of the Muslim diaspora. This year they have moved their festival online - it's running from January to June 2021. They are offer over 70 events, most of which are free and digital, and many are hosted by schools and colleges. Muslim Arts and Culture Festival aims to bring Muslim and non-Muslim communities together, promote social inclusion and overcome barriers. Free events include 'The Black Queens of Islam', 'Introduction to Mural Painting', 'Curry Mile - a transition of cultures' and an Islamic Calligraphy workshop.
Hubbub: There's plenty of ways we can stay active, creative and occupied during tighter restrictions, and perhaps you're up for trying something new? It doesn't have to be a resolution, or even something big, it could be as simple as a new recipe to use the leftover veg in your fridge. Whether you're looking for a new hobby like making your own facemasks, new ways to do things that are better for the environment, or new ways to save money on bills around the house, Hubbub have got you covered.
Sporting Memories: For people over 50 who are currently inactive and would like encouragement and support to be active at home, the Sporting Memories #KITbag provides equipment, motivation, guidance – and opportunities for companionship.
Project Reboot: Reboot is an interactive platform providing practical steps which enables schools, charities and community groups to set up your own device distribution programme. Our free guide explains how you can collect, restore and rehome devices, to give them and their new owners a brighter future.
The Lowry: The Lowry’s Creativity for Wellbeing programme is a timetable of free, online activities and courses you can get involved with.
Royal Oak Community Centre: The Royal Oak Community Centre are currently offering various free short courses and workshop series including Creative Embroidery: Mexican Otomi and the Basics of Photography.
City of Trees: City of Trees are planning a series of monthly webinars from tree ID, photography and nature writing. They have also produced a series of family-friendly resources are perfect for keeping children of all ages and all key stages engaged during lockdown.
The Ageing Hub: The Ageing Hub and partners have produced a campaign to support older people who are not online with practical information to keep well this winter, including their Keeping Well this Winter booklet with tips and advice on keeping active and connected, staying safe and well, and managing our money and home. The booklet is also available in Urdu, Bangla and an easy-read version.
Big Energy Saving Winter: Big Energy Saving Winter is a national campaign to help you cut your energy bills and get all the financial support you’re entitled to. They have lots of helpful tools and advice to help you save money while keeping your home warm this winter.
The Conservation Volunteers: The Conservation Volunteers have produced a little book of nature activities to do at home as a way to bring nature into your everyday life to benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. Activities include growing tomatoes and spotting plants and animals.
Semble: Children across the UK are being denied access to the most basic tool to improve their lifelong wellbeing – the experience of nature and the outdoors. Before the pandemic, families in deprived areas were already up to 9x less likely to connect with nature, and this inequality has been dramatically amplified by the current crisis. But a solution is possible – even in lockdown – and communities lie at the heart of it. Using key learnings and case studies, Semble's Backyard Nature team have created some brilliant learning resources for community groups and schools, to help connect more young people with nature. They’re free, easy to follow and suitable for everyone. They even include some online sessions to help young people to access nature even from home.
SHARE Checklist: The government has launched the SHARE checklist to tackle the spread of false information about coronavirus and vaccinations. The checklist is an easy tool to pass on to people in your community to help them know what to look out for before they like, comment or share information they come across online.
North West Tax Clinic: Supported by academics in the Accounting and Finance Division, students from the Alliance Manchester Business School are volunteering on the helpline to provide free, expert, independent and confidential advice for North West low income residents, who are facing a tax problem they have been unable to resolve with HMRC. The student volunteers have been given comprehensive training to support qualified tax professionals. If you require advice and support, you can contact the clinic on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-4pm.
Sonder Radio: Sonder Radio - an online station working with 50+ residents of Manchester - is delivering a 2 week long online project 'Let's Get Digital' - for 50+ residents of Manchester who are not currently in employment, in partnership with Manchester Adult Education Service. The programme includes an introduction to radio, interviews, production and creative writing with a focus on confidence building and team work. The group will produce and present a live radio show together on the Friday to an invited audience. It's completely free to attend and laptops and data will be provided if this is a barrier to involvement.
Manchester Digital Collective: There are 11 million digitally excluded people in the UK, and the MDC device collection scheme is a sustainable, eco-friendly way of helping someone reconnect with their family, friends and community. All you have to do is dig out your old laptop, tablet or smartphone, factory reset it, and post it to Lifeshare. They'll clean it, wipe it of data and get it in the hands of someone in need.
Community Calling: Lockdown has brought new challenges to the 11 million people digitally excluded in the UK, and Community Calling is a practical way to support these individuals, as well as tackling e-waste. It's simple: you donate your old smartphone, they clean it, data-wipe it and redistribute it to someone in need.
National Day of Reflection: UK’s National Day of Reflection is on 23 March – a time for us all to take a moment to pause and reflect on the tragic loss of life since the first lockdown began last year. You can get involved by taking a minute to reflect at midday, reaching out to a loved one, to drawing flowers on your window as a sign of support.
Old Frame New Picture: The Greater Manchester Older People's Network (GMOPN) have produced a series of postcards from a competition which invited people to send their photographs which demonstrate people ageing positively. Share these wonderful images of older people in Greater Manchester by sending a digital postcard to your friends and family. In doing so, you can help change perceptions of ageing whilst spreading positivity.
Local Trust: Working and collaborating remotely using digital tools is becoming much more commonplace. For many, this means developing new skills. However, working online doesn’t need to be difficult, and is a great way to bring people together when you can’t meet in person. In fact, it can make things easier and remove barriers to participation. Local Trust have produced an interactive guide offers quick and easy steps you can take and tools you can use to get the most out of these online resources – all low-cost and high impact.
Your Guide to Helping Older People with the Internet: Good Things Foundation and Centre for Ageing Better have produced a handy guide to help you if you want to show older people how to use the internet for the first time, or help someone to improve their skills. It doesn’t matter if you’re helping a friend or family member, or someone you support as part of your job or volunteering role, you'll find lots of tips on how to get started.
Near Neighbours: Near Neighbours have produced some short videos in several community languages to help people understand public health advice around the vaccine. Please download the videos and use them to share on social media and with family and friends.