Huge Impact of Manchester’s £1million Covid-19 Community Response Fund

Date: 20/11/2020
Author: We Love MCR Charity
Company: We Love MCR Charity

We Love MCR Charity celebrates their Covid-19 Community Response Fund, and calls for new donations to the Fund to meet needs from the ongoing Covid crisis. 

We Love MCR Charity has released a report to measure the impact in Manchester of the first 6 months of the Covid-19 Community Response Fund launched in late March. 

With over £965,000 already warded to local groups ad charities tackling the problems caused and exacerbated by the pandemic, the Impact Report reveals:

  • Over 50,000 Manchester people have been supported by the grants
  • 302 grants have been awarded to frontline groups and charities
  • 98% of recipient groups said the application process was quick enough so they could respond to urgent needs 
  • Applicants received a response-in-principle to their bid for funding within an unprecedented 48 hours
  • 28% of the groups supported identify themselves as B.A.M.E.-led
  • £180,000 awarded in Mental Health & Wellbeing grants 
  • £427,000 awarded in Food Poverty & Distribution grants
  • £192,000 awarded in Engagement with Young People grants
  • £150,000 awarded in Advice & Protection Services grants

The potential for immediate and profound adverse impacts across Manchester, particularly to vulnerable communities, was evident as the first Lockdown approached. Groups receiving grants from We Love MCR’s Community Response Fund are working in many areas of need in Manchester, including domestic violence, food poverty, disability, LGBTQ, homelessness, digital disadvantage, loneliness and special educational needs. 

The Impact Report is packed full of moving quotes from organisations benefitting from a grant from We Love MCR. A selection of these are given in  the Appendix to this release. 

Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Tommy Judge, Chair of We Love MCR Charity, said: “This is We Love MCR’s biggest ever campaign. My thanks go to everyone who has donated to our Fund. It has not only improved and protected lives – in some cases it has saved lives."

Ged Carter, Head of We Love MCR Charity added: The complex and urgent needs created by the pandemic are huge and ongoing. We’re delighted we’ve been able to address problems around food poverty, mental health, protection of vulnerable people and digital disadvantage. We’re proud of our work to stop hunger spreading like the virus in Manchester. And we’re especially proud to fund seven organisations tackling domestic violence locally. We want to do more, but we need more donations to continue our vital work.”  

The Fund was launched on 25 March 2020, and invited community groups and charities to apply for funds to tackle problems caused or exacerbated by the pandemic. Many of the needs were urgent, so We Love MCR designed a process where applicants would receive a decision in principle on their bids with 48 hours. This meant the voluntary Trustees were working on bids 7 days a week to keep to this bold offer. 

The feedback in We Love MCR’s Survey of grant recipients shows that the Covid-19 Community Response Fund has supported community groups and charities to respond quickly to the needs in their communities, and with the flexibility they needed at a time of great uncertainty. The application process was seen to be simple and straightforward, and grants were paid out rapidly. 

The fact that funds were made available quickly has enabled many groups in Manchester’s voluntary sector to Continue, Grow, Adapt and Plan, in the face of the immense challenges.Groups and Charities have benefitted from over £965,000 of urgent funding. They have contributed immeasurably to the quality of life in Manchester. We Love MCR Charity is proud to have created and delivered this Fund, and is delighted to report on the countless ways it has improved and protected lives across our city. 


The Covid-19 Community Response Fund is down to its last £5,000, but the problems created by the pandemic will only grow as we endure a second lockdown. We Love MCR is asking people and companies who can afford to, to make a donation today to top up the Fund. We Love MCR promises that all donations will be used to make a difference on the “frontline” urgently. Donations can be made in 3 ways: