Our newest Community Builder, Graeme Urlwin met with the Local Reference Group helping with our work in Moston and Harpurhey this week.

The Local Reference Group is made up of residents from across Moston and Harpurhey, who are helping us to distribute £200,000 in the areas, thanks to funds from the Spirit of 2012 Trust.


The project sees fourteen areas benefiting from funds from Spirit of 2012 Trust, set up after the London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 Games and Forever Manchester is working closely with residents to deliver a real community change in the areas of Moston and Harpurhey.

The project will see us connect residents together who share interests, skills and assets to benefit residents in their area. This is where our Local Reference Group comes in. The group is made up of a real variety of people from various community groups and projects in Moston and Harpurhey including:

  • Louis Beckett – The Miners Art Group
  • Barbara Shaw – Creative Community
  • Kathleen Harvey – M40 4FC
  • Joan Tipping – Wellbeing Centre
  • Barbara McLaughlin – FC United of Manchester
  • Anthony Bradley – Everyday People
  • Gill Hughes – MaD Theatre Company
  • Reverend Robin Pye
  • Pamela Whitworth – Factory Youth
  • Steve Chandler – Moston Lane Traders
  • Tommy McDonagh – Collyhurst and Moston Amateur Boxing Club
  • Andy Cheshire – FC United of Manchester

These residents have been invited to become part of an inclusive local decision making group (Local Reference Group), which our Community Builders will support to help develop a 3 year community plan to increase participation in ways that meet local needs, aspirations or shortfalls in their area.

This group will then work with Forever Manchester in an advisory capacity, to ensure that the Fourteen funds are spent in line with the local Fourteen community plan.

The Local Reference Group, with guidance from our Community Builders, will shape locally how to increase opportunities for participation for people in their community.  These can be cultural, sport, volunteering and youth based activities. They may have a serious developmental objective, or be designed to bring fun to people’s lives and improve the wellbeing and happiness of individuals and the community as a whole.

The Group has already had some great ideas, and after talking together they have realised that three of the members (Barbara Shaw, Andy Cheshire and Steve Chandler) have all been trying to get a community newspaper off the ground separately. They are now going to join forces, using their skills and local knowledge and do this together in the hope of having more varied news from both Harpurhey and Moston, instead of it covering just one area. This will hopefully be supported by Forever Manchester and inform the whole community of news in their area. Keep and eye on our website for information on this!

The Local Reference Group members are all working on a completely voluntary basis for the good of their community. Forever Manchester would like to thank them for their hard work already and look forward to seeing more ideas from them in the future.