The man paying back 500 Acts of Kindness 120 brisk minutes at a time

I Love MCR Theatre Writer Glenn Meads will be tackling a tricky charity challenge for three amazing local initiatives. 

Header image: Glenn and his nephew, who shares his love of theatre

I Love MCR Theatre Writer Glenn Meads will be tackling a tricky charity challenge for three amazing local initiatives.

From Monday 17th to Friday 21st of July, he will walk for 120 brisk minutes each day, come rain or shine.

He is set to raise money for three amazing initiatives.

500 Acts of Kindness

At the heart of this challenge lies the commitment to uplift those most affected by the cost of living crisis.

500 Acts of Kindness, a remarkable small charity, has gathered a community of over 500 members who contribute £1 per week to make a difference.

With the funds collected, they provide vital assistance to individuals and small businesses facing hardships.

Recently, they helped a local man who sells Big Issue magazines, providing him with money for an oven and finding him a bed.

Colin with his new bed thanks to your kind donations

This act of kindness brought much-needed comfort to someone who had been sleeping on a couch, their oven broken.

With the overwhelming demand for their services, 500 Acts of Kindness strives to support individuals nominated by their group members.

By donating to this cause, you directly impact lives and contribute to a stronger community.

Speaking to I Love MCR, Glenn said: “I am a member of this brilliant community-based charity and I have seen the impact and they really do change lives, £1 at a time.”

“When you see an email from a recipient who has been supported, it is really moving and makes you feel good, as the government sees many of these people as invisible.”

53 two

Inside 53two

During his involvement with 53two, Glenn collaborated with Simon Naylor, the Creative Director, on various educational projects.

Simon’s genuine concern for Glenn’s students led him to introduce him to 500 Acts of Kindness, a small but impactful charity addressing the cost of living crisis.

The 53two staff with Simon, (R) recording their podcast ‘Under the Bricks’

Together, they nominated one of Glenn’s struggling adult students, who was sofa-surfing, and the charity provided the necessary support. This act of kindness allowed the student to find stable accommodation and improve their circumstances.

Glenn’s encounters with 53two have highlighted the welcoming and inclusive nature of the venue.

Not only does it offer a space for enjoying a show or grabbing a bite, but it serves as a community hub where people can network, seek advice, or simply find solace.

Recognising the importance of sustaining this artistic haven, Glenn emphasises the need to support 53two financially to ensure its continued operation.

A beacon of creativity in Manchester, 53two serves as an arts community hub, pub, café, and meeting place for countless individuals.

Their commitment to showcasing the works of first-time writers and giving them a platform to be seen and heard is unparalleled.

Glenn said: “It is Manchester’s Cheers bar, attend twice and everyone knows your name.”

“The plays often feature local talent and for under £30, you have a really good night out.

“And they give so much back to the community, inviting first-time writers to submit their work and employing local creatives.”

Additionally, they offer “pay what you can” tickets priced at £2, ensuring accessibility for those who may otherwise be unable to afford a theatre experience.

It’s important to note that 53two operates without any government grants, relying on the generosity of supporters to keep their lights on and continue producing outstanding artistic endeavours.

By contributing to this cause, you play a vital role in sustaining this vibrant artistic community and providing opportunities for emerging talents.

Hope Mill Theatre

Passion at Hope Mill Theatre Photo: Mark Senior

The Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats holds a special place in Glenn’s heart due to its First Curtain initiative.

This annual fundraiser aims to bring local children, who may have never experienced live theatre before, into the magical world of performances.

Glenn recalls his own upbringing, where his nan took him to the cinema and the theatre, sparking a lifelong love for the arts.

He understands the immense impact such experiences can have on young minds, fostering creativity and broadening horizons.

The First Curtain campaign by The Hope Mill Theatre has a profound impact on the lives of local disadvantaged children.

By offering them the opportunity to attend the theatre for the first time, this campaign instils a sense of wonder, imagination, and possibility.

A single donation of £25 can sponsor one child, granting them free entry to this intimate venue.

The transformative effects of this experience are immeasurable, creating memories that last a lifetime.

Your contribution to the First Curtain campaign ensures that more children are exposed to the magic of live performances, fostering a love for the arts and broadening their horizons.

Glenn continued: “Going to see plays, films and visiting museums with my nan shaped who I am, I have no doubt about it.”

“I saw a young lad at the Hope Mill with his mum and he was beaming at the end of Cinderella and he collected all the streamers from the stage and took them home. You could see the joy in his face. I later found out that was his first time at the theatre. That’s magical.”

If you find it within your means, donations to any or all of these initiatives will undoubtedly make a significant impact.

No amount is too small, as even the smallest contributions collectively create substantial change.

Your generosity will directly support those in need and nurture a thriving artistic community.

For those unable to contribute financially, your support can still make a difference.

By sharing this article and spreading the word through your networks, you increase the chances of others discovering and supporting these worthy causes

Let’s get behind these three amazing initiatives!

You can donate by clicking here.

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Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience.

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