This year we’re 25 years old and it got me thinking about 1989: the Hacienda is jam-packed with smiley faced revellers, the jeans are getting baggier and the hair is getting floppier.

The Stone Roses are ‘Made of Stone’, Happy Mondays ‘Rave On’, James ‘Sit Down’ next to me… and on the sixth day, God created MANchester.

United are 8th in the League, City are 2nd in Division 2 (one point behind Chelsea), and Bolton and Wigan are languishing at the bottom of the old 3rd Division. How fortunes would change over the next 25 years.

Outside of the football, clubbing and music scene, Manchester is a dark and dirty old town. The high-rise blocks built in the 1960s are starting to crumble and the region is in much need of regeneration.

Nothing short of radical transformation is required and, with true Mancunian determination, over the last 25 years this has been delivered and Manchester has become a thriving, dynamic and modern European city.

Quoting a passage from the British Institute of Architect’s ‘Manchester: Shaping the City,’ “Manchester learns from its past, it is self-critical and so its edge always sharp. It capitalises on its successes to attract recognition nationally and internationally – and it stays aware of its social responsibilities, just as it did in the late 19th century.”

To fulfil this social responsibility, Manchester needed a vehicle to help encourage and fund community initiatives across the region. And with that, 1989 saw the birth of Forever Manchester, in the form of The Community Trust for Greater Manchester, inspired by the successful community foundation models in the USA.

Our belief is that the citizens of Greater Manchester are as important to the growth and development of the region as the commercial centre. So alongside the billions of pounds of investment in infrastructure, there is a continued contribution of skills and talents, and determination and belief through which people can affect change.

This is why, after 25 years, our mission still holds true today and will do so forever…

…Helping ordinary people to do extraordinary things together.

Nick Massey, Chief Executive