… This is the place where we stand strong together, With a smile on our face, Mancunians Forever.

Today Forever Manchester remembers all those affected by the devastating atrocity at Manchester Arena on 22nd May 2017.

Forever Manchester is a charity that raises money to fund and support a huge and varied range of community activity throughout Greater Manchester that includes young people, older people disabled people, homelessness, sports, education, and cancer support projects, plus everything in between.

We work with our local communities to inspire and encourage projects that they want to see, to make their neighbourhoods happier, healthier and safer places to be. We help local people to build communities from the inside out, and galvanise the true creative, entrepreneurial spirit for Greater Mancunians to emerge and shine.

Back in 2013 we asked Tony Walsh to bring our cause to life; to give it a voice and a personality to our local communities. What we got back was the amazing poem ‘This is the Place’.

Four years later the poem took on a new poignancy when it was performed at the vigil for the victims of the devastating atrocity at Manchester Arena.

Tragedies such as this often bring out the best in people. We gather together, we support each other, we are imbued with community pride and an almost tribal sense of belonging. The whole world looked to Manchester to see how it’s done. Two big fat fingers up to adversity. This is Manchester! We do things differently ‘round ‘ere.

But… ‘This is the Place’  was never intended to mark a moment in time, it’s a poem that should always remind us just how important our local communities are, in bad times, sure…but perhaps more importantly, in good times too. These are the places where we love, live, and work. Where we party, get married, bring up our kids. Communities matter now more than ever. Let’s recognize their value and make sure that we nurture them and play our role in ensuring they thrive, now and forever.

Always remember. Never forget. Forever Manchester.