We launched FM Awards in July last year. The new awards programme is based on an asset based community development approach (utilising and sharing the good stuff we already have rather than focusing on the bad).

Since then we’ve funded 37 incredible and inspiring community groups with £1,000 each. The groups have 21,424 beneficiaries between them. That’s an average of 595 people benefiting directly from the activity of each group.

A handful of the groups that FM Awards has already been able to support are the positive and aware anti-gang and violence group, Father’s Against Violence; Treetops Counselling Salford which has saved lives and encouraged people to change the way they view mental health; and Bolton Cancer Voices [pictured].

Most importantly we’ve been able to break some of the red tape that can often make applying for funding a daunting and tedious procedure for small grassroots groups and projects that don’t have the time or resources to commit to complex funding bids.

Pam Livesey, Treasurer of Bolton Cancer Voices, says, “When I first heard of the new approach adopted by FM Awards I was somewhat intrigued as, believe me, some award applications take hours to fill in. I love the “good news” approach. From start to finish the procedure was wonderful, no red tape, the Awards Team is very friendly and informative. It was a joy to apply.”

Our own Awards Team is even enjoying the changes. Fran Garvey, our Fund Co-ordinator, adds, “Moving away from focusing on the disadvantaged and deprived has been great. It gives us a buzz to hear personal stories about individuals overcoming barriers and changing their lives in positive ways by attending local groups.”