CityCo Manchester - Retail Matters Week.

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Last modified on 17/10/2018

BigChangeMCR is an alternative giving campaign. The campaign is designed by people with lived experience of sleeping rough.

It asks the public to “give differently” if they want to make a real change to people’s lives on the streets. Whilst giving money on the streets is a very human response to the perception of an immediate need, long term it does little to help and often further distances people from opportunities to change their lives. Funds are distributed via micro grants to individuals via grassroots outreach.


Key partners:

CityCo, Manchester City Council, Riverside, Manchester Homelessness Partnership, Allied London, Greater Manchester Police, Manchester BID.


Outcome of campaign:

BigChangeMCR has helped the business community understand the complexities involved with, and difference between, rough sleeping, homelessness, street vulnerability and begging. CityCo delivers bespoke sessions for businesses and sectors and brokers new relationships between grassroots charities and the private sector (CSR / Social Value).

About £200,000 raised in around 18 months, over 700 individuals helped with items purchased via the fund. Items range from bus passes to tenancy deposits, rent and white goods. Over 100 people will be running the Manchester half marathon for BigChangeMCR.


Next steps:

BigChangeMCR campaign will continue to be rolled out, with refreshed messaging. A partnership is in development with Allied London to ensure BigChangeMCR is supported by their development partners delivering St John’s Quarter (LendLease).

Development partners will not only raise significant funds for BigChangeMCR, they will also offer real jobs to people with experience of homelessness, as well as educating the existing workforce on the complexities of destitution. (St John’s is Manchester’s newest neighbourhood, delivering a unique space to live and work, combining creativity, industry and business).


Additional information:

We have delivered the campaign with no budget. The messaging, digital creative work has been developed pro bono, using expertise from across the community, including free advertising space, event spaces, printing and film making, including a film featuring local musician and broadcaster, Guy Garvey.


With thanks to the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) for this piece! @ATCMUK


Tags: Sustainability & Community Engagement