Sunday 10th May saw the British Academy Film and Television Awards, which 4.7 million Brits watched.

One of the winners was Jessica Hynes, who picked up the gong for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme for her stellar performance in W1A.

Also known as Cheryl, the Royle Family’s neighbour famous for thinking a Terry’s Chocolate Orange was one of her five a day, Hynes mentioned the importance of funding the arts in her acceptance speech.

Jessica was very passionate in her acceptance speech and spoke of how arts projects got her to where she is today. The groups we fund can often help the most creative minds to express themselves, and we hope we are helping to create more success stories like Jessica’s in the future.

Arts is one area that has seen huge cuts in recent years, and Forever Manchester are pleased to fund the arts at grassroots level.

One of these groups we’ve recently funded is Reforma Movement Theatre.

Reforma is Manchester’s first Movement Theatre company, whose main objective is to reach out and enable everyone regardless of age, sex or social circumstance the opportunities to be creative, as they believe freedom of expression leads to learning.

The group got the inspiration from their name from the meaning Reforma. It translates to renovation, take what is already there, develop and restore. The group have a shared ethos and determination to make a positive difference through the means of movement theatre for education.

Reforma believes in working partnerships and have many established North West and London Arts based professionals who help to continue to create leading movement theatre, which educates as well as entertains. The group provides arts based knowledge fused with educational experience for a fresh approach to educating all ages.

‘Red Ribbon Diaries’ is the latest project from the group, which is what Forever Manchester have helped to fund. The project will create a story of a community affected by HIV and will be showcased at Manchester Day on Sunday 14th June.

The workshop and performance will be an exploration of the different types of people dealing directly and indirectly with HIV and AIDs, breaking stigmas and stereotypes, with professional performers and young people from across Manchester. In the process of the creation of the hard-hitting performance, the group spoke to those prevalent in the LGBT community suffering with AIDs and HIV to give real life accounts of their journey and how support from organisations and those around them has affected their journey, making it a verbatim piece that is real.

As well as the ‘Red Ribbon Diaries’ project, the group do many others of varying sizes. One of these projects is in schools for young people to get involved in the arts and explore their creativity. Reforma often tailor these visits to schools to suit issues directly affecting the children taking part. Addressing issues in the children’s areas and allowing them to be creative and express their angst and experiences helps them, and stops them bottling feelings up. One teacher said: “The children have really benefited from today, they are so eager to get involved and they especially like the fact that it has been tailored to their communities problems.”

One pupil involved enjoyed the experience so much he wanted to show his school the work they’d done: “We want to do it in assembly so we can share what we did and show everyone else how much fun we had and make them want to do it too. It was so much fun. I loved the dancing and it made me happy that we were dancing about things that will make other people feel happy.”

Funding the arts is something we believe in here at Forever Manchester, and if you do too, you can DONATE TODAY to help other groups, like Reforma to continue doing the work they do in the communities of Greater Manchester.

Alternatively, if you’re an Arts group who requires funding, please head to our Funding Page to see if there are any funds available to you, or alternatively contact our Awards team on 0161 214 0940.