It’s Small Charity Week.
Small Charity Week celebrates and raises awareness of the essential work of the UK’s small charity sector who make an invaluable contribution to the lives of millions of individuals, communities and causes across the UK and the rest of the world.
The big name charities do brilliant work, but there are plenty of smaller ones which have a direct impact at a community level which cannot afford the publicity campaigns of the bighitters.
Here’s a selection of small local charities doing inspirational work who will appreciate your support whether it’s a donation, fundraising, volunteering or just spreading the word.
42nd Street and The Horsfall
42nd Street engage with young people facing tough times, supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people aged 11-25, and providing free and confidential services. They also run social action programmes, deliver specialist training and made the ultimate step in supporting young people by setting up The Horsfall, an exciting creative venue inspired by the 19th century cultural experiment of the Ancoats Art Museum.
Talbot House supports parents and carers of people who have learning disabilities and help carers across the city feel supported and valued. They have a down-to-earth, friendly system whereby carers can pop in for a cup of tea and a chat as well as additional one-to-one support services, day trips and much more.
The Society For Abandoned Animals
Established as a charity in 1967, The Society for Abandoned Animals cares for and rehouse the many unwanted cats and rabbits dumped around the city every year. The Society relies on donations so your support can have a big impact. Just think of all the cat food you could buy for twenty quid – and your donations will help them care for more animals too.
Manchester People First
Manchester People First is open to learning disabled adults and run by staff who also have learning difficulties. Based on Cheetham Hill, they advocate the right for everyone to have control over their lives and make independent choices.
A charity created out of tragedy but continuing to inspire hope every day. Coffee4Craig was founded by the sister and brother-in-law of Craig White who died on the streets of Cardiff in 2013 after a heroin overdose whilst battling schizophrenia. Their call-out on Facebook for friends to buy a coffee for someone who is homeless and say it was from Craig turned into a meal in Cardiff in his honour and then a food and drink for the homeless service in their home city of Manchester. Coffee4Craig now support over 200 people every month, with over 50 volunteers regularly putting on street kitchens here.
Lifeshare works with Manchester’s many homeless people. The first point of contact is with people on the streets, offering practical assistance, support and information, plus they open up a kitchen at Charter Street Ragged School on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7am-9am.
This charity provides a place for anyone to talk about their mental health from people serious mental health conditions to those who are stressed or worried. Over 12,900 people in Greater Manchester have found support from Self Help this year. They stay up to support people into the night too with a crisis service available over the phone.
The Proud Trust
The people behind Manchester’s LGBT Centre and the Sidney Street Café, The Proud Trust help young people empower themselves and educate others on acceptance and diversity. This includes setting up supportive youth groups, providing training and events and creating resources, all with lots of love and pride thrown in.
Aspire Arts Foundation
A new charity with a big ambition to advance the arts, heritage and the education of the public by presenting and producing plays, shows and plenty more across the UK and beyond. This has involved music, dance and drama opportunities with a wide range of individuals with a focus on adults and children with disabilities, those with mental illness and the elderly.
A gallery that is also a charity. Since 1984, Castlefield Gallery has been one of the north’s most active and successful organisations for developing emerging artists. It turns aspiring artists into prize-winning professionals, promoting artists at key stages of their careers, including people who have gone on to win the Turner Prize and exhibit at festivals. Their vision is for the north to be a place where artists can live and produce work, putting Manchester on the map as a place of world class talent.
A charity which started off with one man walking the streets and giving food to those in need now supports 600 people every week, has been bringing hope to the homeless for the last 25 years. The team at Barnabus have received the unsung heroes Queens Award for Voluntary Service and rely entirely on donations.
A group which cares about sustainability, pride and encourages skills through sewing and style. This is a not-for-profit cooperative who run garment making and upcycling workshops in Chorlton so you can come along and get crafting. You can support them just by being there.
Giving working class young people of Manchester a voice is what RECLAIM is all about. Set up in Moss Side in 2007, this charity identifies and supports talented young people from a community which often receives a lot of negative attention. Over the last ten years they have supported a number of young people to fulfil their potential.
Around 600,000 people in Greater Manchester live in poverty, of whom an estimated 137,000 of those are in work and 91,000 children. Mustard Tree has been working to tackle both the causes and consequences of poverty since 1994 – and regularly hosts events and activities across three hubs. The first in Ancoats is the biggest, operating the Freedom Project with training courses, job club, counselling plus a soup kitchen.
Greater Manchester Youth Network
This Ardwick Green charity works to empower young people in and around Manchester, encouraging the people it engages with to get active in the community and make a difference. They are especially known for delivering volunteering workshops to schools and have a leadership programme.
Back on Track
Back on Track is a Manchester charity that enables disadvantaged adults to make lasting, positive changes in their lives. Their learning centre in the Northern Quarter is for people who are going through a process of recovery or rehabilitation following alcohol or drug addiction or homelessness.
This small charity celebrate community heritage and deliver the 10 day Manchester Histories Festival every year. Volunteers and donations needed so they can continue to unlock the past for future generations to learn from.
A little TLC can mean a great deal and Talk Listen Change help people build better relationships, both with themselves and with others. Their tailored support can fit the needs of the individual and they’ve also been offering free counselling for anyone affected by the Manchester Arena terror attack.
Trauma Aid UK
A national charity made up of a volunteer network of trauma experts from the NHS and private sector, Trauma Aid have been providing free trauma therapy for anyone directly affected by the Manchester and London terror attacks. All are trained in the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment method, so all those they treat can receive the highest quality care.
The Girls’ Network
Already in Manchester and launching in Salford next week, The Girls’ Network aims to open up a world of possibility to girls from the least advantaged communities and connect them with people and activities to support them.
Small Steps Foundation
Based in Cheadle Hulme but spreading hope all the way to Africa, Small Steps Foundation works to support, educate and help young children with learning difficulties in Uganda. They aim to challenge the stigma many of these children face in their community and create a more inclusive environment.