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Spirit of Manchester Story

Spirit of Manchester Story is an opportunity to demonstrate the outstanding work done every day by the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector across Manchester.

Spirit of Manchester Story is a series of week-long campaigns, the first of which was held in September 2016, to document the extraordinary everyday stories of our sector. VCSE organisations are asked to choose one day during the week and record an activity which we capture via a short 10 minute phone interview on the day. We then publicise this information via our website and on social media using the hashtag #SpiritofMcrStory. The stories for each year can be accessed via the links for each day below.


Coming Home Stories was the theme of the 2023 Story week for December

The stories: 

Mustard Tree:  “I got much more, they sorted everything out for me"

Justlife: “We trust the people we support to lead the work we do” 

Lifeshare: “A warm safe space to take a break and hopefully engage with much needed support and community”

Reach Out to the Community: “ROC enables people to access support needed and speak to a consistent and trusted person”

Street Support: “A good way to think of it is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for anyone in need”

The Boaz Trust: “they treated me with dignity and with respect.” 

Across Ummah CIC: “another testament of impactful approaches”

Caritas Salford: “we try to meet immediate needs but also to … advocate for change” 

Stories of Sanctuary was the theme of the first 2023 Story week 

The stories
Mustard Tree “We lost all our support – our right to work and basic services”
Yaran Northwest - "My life is in order now. I feel the change in myself and feel more positive"
Manchester City of Sanctuary - Volunteer Placement Project
Caritas Salford - "We encourage people to recognise their own potential"
Revive - This family are thriving in their new community
Refugees & Mentors - “I am very pleased to now have UK work experience
Caritas Shrewsbury - Working collaboratively to welcome Afghan refugees
Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit - Refugees Welcome 
Afrocats - 'because Afrocats believes in me'
Mustard Tree - An English language class gets an influx of new students 
Manchester City of Sanctuary - Making Connections
Caritas Shrewsbury - The Well Women's Group
Greater Manchester Migrant Destitution Fund - The Greater Manchester Migrant Destitution Fund: Offering dignity amidst the Hostile Environment 

The theme of the 2022 Spirit of Manchester Story week was the cost of living crisis. 

The stories 
Gateway M40 - There's not enough money
Carers Manchester - A helping hand when money is tight
Cheetham Hill Advice Centre - People's options are very limited
Transport for Sick Children - taking children with no other means of transport to hospital and clinic appointments
Manchester Mind - Rent arrears, debt and benefits
Groundwork - Green doctors
Across Ummah CIC - Money is the source of problems in a lot of relationships
Citizens Advice Manchester - No strangers to supporting people in times of national crisis
Be Smoke Free, Manchester - Saving money through quitting smoking
Coverdale and Newbank Community Grocers and Len Grant - How bad is that?
Healthy Me Healthy Communities - "If it wasn't for your place I don't know where I'd be"



The 2021 Spirit of Manchester Story week was held on 27 September to 1 October. 


The 2020 Spirit of Manchester Story week was held on 21 -25 September. The theme was No Going Back and we captured stories of new but now everyday activities provided by VCSE organisations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Day One - Monday 21 September - Community Arts North West, Whalley Range Climate Action Group, Greater Manchester Restorative Justice Service, Manchester City of Sanctuary


The sixth Spirit of Manchester Story week was held on 23-27 September 2019 with the subject of the recently declared climiate emergency. The stories can be found below by day:

Day 1 - Monday 23 September
Day 2 - Tuesday 24 September
Day 3 - Wednesday 25 September
Day 4 - Thursday 26 September
Day 5 - Friday 27 September

On 24 - 28 September 2018, we held the fifth Spirit of Manchester Story week. All of the stories are available below. 

Day 1 - Monday 24 September

Day 2 - Tuesday 25 September

Day 3 - Wednesday 26 September

Day 4 - Thursday 27 September

Day 5 - Friday 28 September

September 2017 saw the fourth Spirit of Manchester Story week. All the stories will be available on this page shortly:

Day One - Monday 18 September
Day Two - Tuesday 19 September
Day Three - Wednesday 20 September
Days Four and Five - Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September

The third Spirit of Manchester Story week celebrated the stories of volunteers during Volunteer Week 2017 (1-7 June 2017) and all the stories can be found at https://www.manchestercommunitycentral.org/spirit-story-volunteers-week-2017


The second Spirit of Manchester Story week was held 28 November - 2 December 2016 and looked at the 'winter pressures' that the voluntary sector met at that time of year. Spirit Story Winter 2016 stories - https://www.manchestercommunitycentral.org/spirit-story-winter-2016

The stories from each day of the first Story week in September 2016 are available via the links below:

Day One - Monday 19 September
Day Two - Tuesday 20 September
Day Three - Wednesday 21 September
Day Four - Thursday 22 September
Day Five - Friday 23 September