And the winner is…. Manchester’s Be Proud Awards 2014

Slickly organised, nice live music, decent veggie option and some genuinely awe-inspiring citizens of Manchester. The Manchester Be Proud awards could dent your cynicism if you let it.

Manchester Town Hall was filled last night with people in their glad rags, come to see who had won this year’s City Council “Be Proud Awards.”

After a drinks reception with music from the Encompass Jazz Trio (hat-tip to RNCM) we got the obligatory Lord Mayor’s Welcome, followed by a three course dinner (hat-tip to t’cooks and silver-service waiters). A short and heartfelt speech by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Bernard Priest, followed. He congratulated everyone who’d been nominated and identified a couple of trouble-makers and offered them holidays at a special Caribbean facility run by the Council’s current security providers, G4S (1).

Then it was on with the awards. The judges must surely occasionally have resorted to tossing coins, since there was a very high quality in the various categories. And the winners are (opens envelope)

Young Achiever of the Year WinnerBlackley volunteer police cadets (other finalists- Grant Lopo, Michael Delaney)

Business in the Community WinnerManchester Cathedral Employment Partnership (other finalists: John Falder, Sidney Street Cafe)

Creativity in the Community Winner – Leah Cavanagh (other finalists: Jessica Loveday, The Community Leadership Programme )

Clean City (2) WinnerUpping It! Steering Group (other finalists: Greenbank Residents Association, Junior Wardens)

Unsung Hero Winner – Kirsty Taylor (other finalists: James field, Joanne Kelly)

Community Force WinnerLisa Minott (other finalists: Mediation Service Volunteers, West Gorton Youth Partnership)

Blossoming Communities WinnerEat Green (UK) (other finalists: Friends of Angel Meadows, Old Moat Greenies)

Community Project of the Year WinnerThe Cheetwood Centre (other finalists: The Booth Centre, Wythenshawe Community Farm)

Neighbour of the Year Winner – Patricia Lesley (other finalists: Emma Armitage, Maria Carabini)

Volunteer of the Year Winner – Roger Smith (other finalists: Kathryn Harrison, Steve Buckley)

Special Achievement Award Winner – Betty Kay

Pride of Manchester Community Diamond Award – Upping It! Steering Group

The event, while very glitzy, had clearly been run on the back of some hard-work/arm-twisting to get such broad sponsorship. It’s worth shouting out those sponsors, since there is no way on God’s green earth – or Manchester’s “clean city” for that matter –  that this event can happen again without ’em (have you seen the budget cuts the ConDems are forcing on local authorities?) And the sponsors are – Manchester Evening News, The co-operative Bam, Rowlinson, Redgate, Tony Lloyd Police & Crime Commissioner, Manchester Arndale, Helping Hand, Laing O’Rourke, the Sweet Shop, Southway Housing Trust, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, Keep Britain Tidy, 1 team, Eastlands Homes

What could have been done better?

Hmm, this is a tricky one. It’s a Friday night, people have come for an enjoyable dinner and an awards ceremony (which they got). You can’t very well run novice lines, or run pre- or post- event workshops or get people in pairs to walk around putting ideas on flipcharts.

Also, you have no money.

HOWEVER, you want to a) try to leverage some help for the existing groups and b) get them interacting with each other a bit more.

So – why not ask each of the short-listed groups to provide a single side of A4 that says

  • what has gone well in the last year
  • what hasn’t gone well
  • what they hope to start doing differently next year
  • what specific skills/knowledge they need to do things bigger/better/more

Together with a map of Manchester showing where these short-listed individuals and groups are active, all put together in a simple booklet would make a very handy tool for people who perhaps had skills or time to offer to some of the groups. #enablingstate and all that….

If you really wanted to push the boat out, why not offer to make a two-minute film about each of the short-listed groups, based around video-footage on the evening and some still photos they’ve provided and the last answer on the sheet above. These could then be an online advert for the group (though clearly, many individuals and groups operate in places where internet access is patchy at best)


  1. Additional, um, “nuance” may have been added for dramatic/comedic effect. Always read the label.  And G4S have now given up on providing janitorial services at Gitmo. But #neverletthefactsgetinthewayofagoodstory etc

  2. There will be much more to say about just how badly and cynically and opaquely this 14.5 million pound disaster has been run, but not here.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in Event reports, Manchester City Council, volunteer opportunity and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to And the winner is…. Manchester’s Be Proud Awards 2014

  1. Royce Naylor says:

    Excellent idea to promote interaction between these effective groups. I especially would like to see a geographical map as I don’t know where many of last night’s groups operate or are based.
    (eg. I should like to lay me down in Angel Meadows, wherever that is.)

    • rogerbysouth says:

      Angel Meadows is a few hundred metres north of Victoria – a park sort of below 23 New Mount Street and all that sail in her. Has (maybe “had” since the Friends got going?) a reputation as place of iniquity i.e. drug use and dealing in the bushes. Now overlooked by some apparently rather nice apartments/flats/lofts whatever. Some interesting historical info on boards in the park. Do I remember correctly that there is a mass grave somewhere in the vicinity? It’s a very old bit of Manchester. ..

      • ianbodgerbrown says:

        It’s good to know that Angel Meadows has friends to look after it. Maybe the apartments are in, or on the site of, the Ragged School. It had the potential of being a very pleasant area.

  2. ianbodgerbrown says:

    I’m always a bit wary of anything with “proud” in the title. Having said that I am sure the winners and losers are very worthy organisations (I am also a little wary of anything with the word worthy in the title!). “Friends of Angel Meadows”, reminds me that the last time I saw Angel Meadows (adjacent to the Ragged School) was when the Manchester Wildlife Group organised a walk under the title, “Angels to Paradise”, the Paradise being Paradise Wharf (near Piccadilly Station). Unfortunately, the wharf has been built on as have all the other open spaces (of wildlife interest) in-between the start and finish. It would be interesting to know who the musicians were in the Encompass Jazz Trio.

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