Thank you for your interest in Manchester Cares.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis we have made the difficult decision to suspend all of our face-to-face programmes for the foreseeable. You can read more about how we’ve approached re-inventing our programmes to fit these disconnecting times here.
Although we’re not currently able to continue with our normal activities (our face-to-face Social Clubs and Love Your Neighbour programmes) we have developed the below pilot, emergency response programmes to ensure that people over 65 can still feel part of their community during these challenging times:
Social Clubs at Home
Our Social Clubs at Home are free online group activities hosted via Zoom - a video conferencing platform that’s free to use. All that’s required to get involved with these clubs is a smartphone or laptop and a connection to the internet. Much like our usual in-person Social Clubs, our online version allows our community of older and younger neighbours to continue to enjoy taking part in activities like Desert Island Discs evenings, dancing, recipe swaps, quizzes and yoga together. And if you don’t know how to use Zoom then it’s absolutely no problem: where possible, we’re also providing neighbours with one-to-one support with how to download and navigate the Zoom app, in order to be able to access our online group activities.
Friendship over the phone
We’re also currently piloting a variety of telephone support options, connecting neighbours together for friendship over the phone. If a neighbour is referred for this type of connection, we’ll speak to them about what options are available first, and decide what’s most suitable for them- this may be regular calls from a volunteer or a member of our team, or a referral through to our pilot social clubs over the phone.
Postal Activity Packs
Older neighbours can also sign up to receive our free monthly Postal Activity Pack, which includes an activity for every day of the month to do at home. Each daily suggestion is different and could range from writing a letter to an inanimate object, to deciding what you’d do if you were Prime Minister for the day, to cutting out words from a newspaper to turn into an abstract poem. These #AloneTogether resources are also available for anyone to download for free from our website here. We’re encouraging as many people as possible to take part and are sharing examples from our #AloneTogether community on our social media channels every day.
Although we’re unable to directly offer practical support ourselves, we are able to signpost older neighbours to our local and national partners to support them to access the right help, which may be access to food packages, prescription collections and more.
We have clear guidelines on who our volunteers can and can't support. Our volunteers are not clinical staff – they are Mancunians who'd like to help people feel more connected.
We say that our model, and our amazing volunteers, don't make life liveable (feeding, clothing or washing people); rather they make life worth living through new opportunities, friendship and horizons. We do take referrals from statutory and healthcare services – such as housing departments, GP social prescriptions, and occasionally mental and social care providers – but please be aware that we often need to make our own assessments on whether neighbours can realistically benefit from our activities.
Please note that we are not able to take referrals for people living with dementia or severe unmanaged mental health conditions.
Please fill out this form to make a referral to us.