We Love MCR Charity knows that young Mancunian’s opportunities for study, business and employment have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
But something that hasn’t changed is their ambition and drive.
They believe that the right support, at the right time, can be life-changing for young people.
So the charity has today launched Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund – a £200,000 fund offering hope and opportunity to determined young Mancunians who need a helping hand to take their next step in education, entrepreneurship, employment, or training.
40% of young people in Manchester are growing up in households in poverty, says the charity, and lack of resources can be a huge barrier to young people fulfilling their potential.
The fund will help talented young people to overcome the barriers they face, to become the potential rising stars who will help to shape Manchester and become the next generation of achievers.
Uniquely, it will ask young Mancunians what they believe they need to progress on their path to success, and then provide funding to enable them to achieve their ambitions.
The charity is encouraging young people living or studying in Manchester aged 16-24 (or up to 30 if the individual has lived experience of homelessness) to apply for an award up to the value of £2,000.
The Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund has already supported over 40 young people to take positive steps towards their goals by funding vital equipment, courses and accreditations in a successful pilot scheme.
“We’ve seen that a grant from the Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund can be life-changing for some young people,” says Marie O’Neill-Steinegger, grants manager for We Love MCR Charity.
“The commitment today demonstrates our belief in the young people of Manchester, in their ambition and their drive to succeed, whatever the barriers are.
“The fund is here to support those young people who might need some financial help to overcome these barriers, to help them become Manchester’s Rising Stars!”
Wythenshawe local Lauren, one of the first beneficiaries of the fund’s pilot who they funded to support her stay in London during her scholarship to the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, said she “cannot begin to explain how much” the award from We Love MCR Charity helped her.
“Without the help and support from the Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund I may have been in a position where I couldn’t finish my course,” she said.
“I will be forever thankful for how We Love MCR backed me.
“I urge anyone to help such an amazing charity if they are lucky enough to be able to do so – I know I will when I’m able, to return the favour to someone in Manchester who is starting off, just like me.”
A defining feature of this launch is the extensive network of over 20 of Manchester’s dedicated youth organisations that have signed up to the programme as referral partners.
These partners, including the Manchester College, MCFC’s City In The Community, and the East Manchester Youth and Play Partnership, are helping to identify young people who are in need of support, and encourage them to apply for a grant.
“I think the Manchester’s Rising Stars Fund is incredible and really does give our young people an opportunity to achieve their goals no matter what that field they may be in,” said Daniel Cairns from Manchester City Council’s Leaving Care Service, a key partner of the fund.
“Many of our young people simply don’t have the funds or start-up costs for a business or essential items for other endeavors, and to be supported by We Love MCR Charity gives them a real springboard to success.
“It means their goals can become realities.”
For more information about the fund, the full guidance and how to apply, visit their website welovemcrcharity.org or get in touch with Marie on 07929 823375.