The 2 occasions in my working life that I got accused of being nice, made me shudder a bit; there it was laid out bare for me to suck up.

Damned with faint praise, a compliment so feeble that it amounts to no compliment at all. I can remember at school having used the word ‘nice’ in an essay and having red ink scrawled all over it with the sneery comment ‘can’t you think of a better word?’

But more recently I’ve decided to wear it like a badge of honour, because frankly I never did find a better word.

At Forever Manchester we believe that 95% of the population is in fact nice. I’ve always found that in general, people want to be liked and to be found to be pleasing, agreeable and, more often than not, it’s a basic human instinct and the more people we meet in the neighbourhoods of Greater Manchester the more we have this belief affirmed.

This month Forever Manchester is proud to launch our Neighbourhood Works Training. The series of workshops are designed to share our recent experiences of working with some genuinely nice local people in neighbourhoods like Alt and St. James in Oldham, Lostock in Trafford and Great Lever in Bolton.

Whilst most of the focus these days is on how rubbish everything is and how needy and disadvantaged our communities are, it’s nice to be able to share our very different experience. We’ve found that when people are allowed to express themselves and encouraged to recognise the natural talent and skills that we all possess, extraordinary things happen and that when you start to join up what might look like lots of small unrelated initiatives the potential becomes clear.

So please take some time to have a read of our Neighbourhood Works article. Take some time to think about what gifts of the head, heart and hands you might happily share with your friends, neighbours and family members. Ignore Alice Cooper’s advice and follow the good works of Captain Manchester!

Nick Massey