Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something out there that improves mental and physical wellbeing, reduce social isolation and develop people’s confidence to try new things?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was something that brings a diverse group of people together providing an opportunity and place for people to meet and find out what’s happening in their neighbourhood? What if there was something that helps reduce crime, creates employability, provides respite for carers and gives people a sense of belonging?

Nice thought isn’t it? If only there was…

Well it might come as a surprise to you but there is something that does all of these things and there’s many of these ‘special places’ within a mile of your home.

What I’m referring to is community groups – groups of people that come together within their local area to benefit local individuals.

Within a mile of my house in Urmston there’s scouts, cubs, brownies and guides groups, a dance troupe, community choir, allotment, junior football club, brass band, ramblers, horse riding, pilates,  over 60s group, a day group for people with disabilities…the list goes on. In fact there are over 150 groups in Urmston.

So how many of these groups are near you?

In Greater Manchester there are over 20,000 constituted groups and many more thousands that aren’t constituted. They’re all delivering vital and unrecognised benefit to their local community.

But guess what? The majority of groups need money to keep going. The amount of money needed will largely depend on the size of the group or the facilities needed to carry out an activity. For example, a local junior football team may have lots of teams; therefore kits, balls, insurance, transport and facility hire needs to be paid for. Or a group working with disabled people may need specialist equipment.

Our fanzine goes out to over 500 people. Imagine the difference that we could make if everyone of us made a donation of £10 a month to Forever Manchester. That’s £60,000 which could be fed directly to these groups across Greater Manchester. And imagine if everyone that receives our fanzine encouraged five friends or family members to do the same. I’ll let you do the maths.

I’ve always said that the decision to give money to charity shouldn’t be taken lightly but as I mentioned in last month’s fanzine our role is to promote the importance of community groups and inspire you to take action.

If you want to give a little you can at www.forevermanchester.com/regulargiving.