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Spirit of Manchester Awards

Spirit of manchester 2024 logo

The Spirit of Manchester Awards are a series of awards celebrating and highlighting the excellent work being carried out in Manchester’s voluntary and community sector. The Spirit of Manchester 2024 Awards will be taking place on Thursday 3 October.

Nomination submissions are open from Monday 4 March to Friday 3 May which can be submitted here. Submissions will be assessed by our judging panel where three individuals/organisations will be shortlisted by the judges for each category. (This excludes the Young Volunteer of the Year Award and the Dr Sylvia Sham Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sector where an outright winner is chosen in advance by the judges.)

For 2024, we are introducing our newest category, the Community and Business Collaboration Award, to celebrate the VCSE organisations and businesses working together in Manchester to help make a difference in the community. 

Please note: The Young Volunteer of the Year Award will be announced in June 2024 in acknowledgement of Volunteers' week. 

Spirit of Manchester 2023 Awards brochure
Find out about all the amazing organisations and individuals that were shortlisted for the Spirit of Manchester Awards 2023. Download our Spirit of Manchester 2023 Awards brochure

Spirit of Manchester 2023 Review
Thank you to everyone who helped support the Spirit of Manchester 2023 and to those who attended the event. Our Spirit of Manchester 2023 review is now available to view by clicking here


Submit your nomination here



Categories

Volunteer of the year

Requirements - Open to all volunteers within the city of Manchester. Volunteers should be nominated by the organisation that they volunteer for. Nominations must show:

  • How they go above and beyond their role
  • How they inspire and motivate others to volunteer
  • The impact they have made

Volunteering team  

Requirements - Volunteer teams should be nominated by the organisation they volunteer for. Nominations must show:

  • How the team has made an impact to the organisation and the wider community
  • Give a demonstration of how a team has worked together on a specific project/challenge
  • Where the team have remained organised and shown innovation

Volunteer Involving Organisation

Requirements - Organisations can nominate themselves or be nominated by a volunteer. Nominations must show how the organisation:

  • Promotes, retains and rewards volunteers/volunteering
  • Makes volunteers feel part of the team
  • Promotes volunteering through their vision and values

Young Volunteer of the Year (in acknowledgement of Volunteers' Week in June 2024)

Requirements - Open to all volunteers within the city of Manchester (up to the age of 30). Volunteers should be nominated by the group or organisation that they volunteer for. Nominations must show:

  • How they go above and beyond their role
  • How they inspire and motivate others to volunteer
  • The impact they have made
  • How they are improving the life opportunities of children and young people across the city of Manchester

The overall winner of this category will be chosen by our panel of judges with the recipient notified during Volunteers Week (3-9 June).


Tackling Inequalities (supported by Manchester Integrated Care Partnership)

Requirements: We are looking for submissions that show us how they addressed issues of equality issues and challenged discrimination during the last year. This could include inequality on the basis of gender, age, ethnicity or poverty.


Inspiring Campaign

Requirements - Organisations can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else. Nominations must show how the organisation saw a need for change or action, what they did and how that has made a difference.


Creative Community Spirit

Requirements - Local individuals or groups who have developed a creative outlet or project to inspire hope and unity during the last year. Open to anyone who used a form of art (performance, craft or other artistic medium) to support others and the community around them.


Partnership and Collaboration

Requirements - How have you worked in partnership or collaborated to make a difference and fulfil a need in your community? How did working in partnership mean your task was successful/more effective. Partnerships can be voluntary or community sector organisation working with the public sector, private company or another community group.


Trustee/Committee Member of the Year (in acknowledgement of Trustees Week in November 2024)

Requirements - Open to individual trustees/committee members of voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations within the city of Manchester. The trustee/committee member should be nominated by the organisation for whom they are a trustee/committee member. Nominations must show:

  • What positive difference the trustee/committee member has made in the organization
  • What qualities, knowledge and skills they bring to the Board or Committee
  • How they support other trustees/committee members and develop good governance
  • How they are a champion for the organisation

By trustee/committee member we mean unpaid roles as trustees, committee members, board members or directors.


Service User Involving Organisation

Requirements - Organisations can nominate themselves or be nominated by a person who uses the organisation’s services. Nominations must show:

  • How they involve the people who benefit from the service in delivery and shaping the service.

Examples such as including service users on the board, asking for feedback regularly or holding consultations. Have service users become staff / volunteers in delivering the service?


Social Economy Champion

Requirements - This award is for those organisations who trade and seek to make a surplus, but unlike traditional businesses, they reinvest all their profits to fight for positive social change. Nominations must show how the organisation creates positive change, and puts positive change at the centre of its work. Nominees can include: social enterprises, social entrepreneurs, trading charities, co-operatives, community benefit societies and community businesses. Organisations can nominate themselves or be nominated by others.


Community Cohesion 

Requirements - For an individual or group who has done some great work to bring communities together to understand, appreciate and positively value each other. The work must have taken place in Manchester within the last 12 months. Nominations must show:

  • Activities which have brought together people from across more than one community. These can be communities which are about a shared place, a shared identity or shared interests.
  • How they promote growing together in harmony rather than conflict and celebrate the diverse nature of the people who live, work and study in this city.

Community and Business Collaboration (supported by CityCo)

Requirements - This award is to recognise the support private sector/businesses have given to VCSE organisations in Manchester. We are looking for VCSE organisations and businesses that are working well together to help make a difference in your community. Maybe it’s from volunteer days, support for building work, financial donation or ongoing commitment in other ways. Whilst we would welcome nominations from either party to highlight work done in the city of Manchester, we would especially welcome joint submissions that show how the relationship works and what both parties have learnt from working together. Nominations must show:

  • What positive benefit and difference the business has made to the organisation‘s work. This might be from investment, sharing knowledge & skills, or time the business has given to the organisation
  • How the business has been a champion for the VCSE organisation and the community or cause it supports.
  • How collaboration creates benefit for the people of Manchester

The Dr Sylvia Sham Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Voluntary Sector

Requirements - This category is for an individual and can be wider than their contribution in the last year. An organisation, colleague or service user can nominate the individual and the overall winner will be picked by the panel of judges and told before the Awards event. Nominations must show how the individual has made a significant contribution to the voluntary and community sector over a number of years.



Supporters
There are a number of ways you can become a supporter of our Spirit of Manchester Awards and help us celebrate and reward the voluntary and community sector for all their hard work. See more on how to be a supporter.

Spirit of Manchester Awards 2023 Winners and Shortlist

Take a look at the winners from last year’s awards here.

How it works 
Click here for how the process works, how nominations are handled and how all of this happens.