Membership Spotlight: My Community UK

Every month we feature one of our members and ask them what their organisation is about and what they’ve been up to. This month we caught up with  My Community UK and spoke to them about their work.

 

Tell us briefly, what does your organisation do?

We work with and for the vulnerable in society to improve the quality of life, services and future of all communities regardless of culture, ethnicity or faith. We have six strands of our work. The Elderly, Women, Youth, and Children, Poverty and Homelessness, Prisoners and Ex-Offenders and the Environment. Our head office is based in Manchester but we work across the UK.

What kind of people does your organisation work with?

For the Elderly, we provide social, emotional and practical support for those who may be suffering ill health, isolation and deprivation and therefore at risk. We liaise closely with the social services, councils, health authorities, the police, faith groups and community and voluntary organisations to ensure that the needs identified by the elderly community are met as far as possible. We provide facilities to address and engage our elderly generation who may be suffering from depression and isolation. Some of the work that we do includes running an over 50s drop-in for bme women, supporting luncheon clubs, gentle exercise, trips and health related courses.

 

As for women, MC-UK is proactive in bringing women to the forefront of society. In April 2011, we organised a charity dinner raising funds for less fortunate women. In May we ran a 4 weeks craft course in addition to our ladies drop-in sessions where they can socialise and share experiences and learn about different topics through different speakers every time. We are currently running an ESF funded personal development course for BME women.

 

We are also tackling youth offending and anti-social behaviour. We had a 6 miles walk in Cromford Village, Derbyshire in June 2011 to raise funds for youth and children. We work closely  with drug and alcohol agencies, YOT (Youth Offending Teams), schools, colleges, LEA’s prisons and other stakeholders who share our vision providing opportunities to youth in order to enhance their employment  opportunities and divert them from engaging in anti-social behaviour. A youth steering committee has been set up and who are very active in organising community fun days, partaking in walks and helping out with street collections.

 

As for the homelessness, MC-UK works with partners, donors and volunteers to ask for their support to endeavour to eradicate homelessness and hunger. In October 2010, we had a 10.8 sponsored walk along the River Mersey in Stockport. In November, we organised an event for feeding the homeless at a housing shelter in Manchester. In addition to that, after the Qurbani we distribute cooked food parcels across the country to the vulnerable people in  the community. The target groups are refuges and asylum seekers centres, vulnerable elderly people, housing shelters women refuges and the homeless.   In February 2013, we ran a soup kitchen in the city centre to feed rough sleepers. We fed up to 100 rough sleepers on the streets.

 

MC-UK is expanding the work it does under the environmental section - we worked in partnership with Planet Releaf to encourage people to plant a tree and with NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) to raise awareness on climate change. We are also involved in a project with the Department of Environment to map the needs of vulnerable BME communities particularly refugees and asylum seekers and the impact climate change could have on them.

 

What’s the biggest success for your organisation so far?

I think that’s a really hard one – we have had so many successes as overall we have expanded in such a short space of time – in less than 3 years, we have created a firm platform and have 5 members of staff working for us now.

 

Our biggest achievement has to be our annual feedathon this year in which we distributed over 15000 hot food parcels within a calendar month across 25 cities.

 

What is the biggest challenge for your organisation in the year ahead?

Long term sustainability and continuing to think innovatively to lever in income for projects and develop/strengthen partnerships across the country.

 

To find out more about MC-UK's work, visit their website.

For further details, please contact Tazeem Shah, Chairperson, 0161 7131892  tazeem.shah@mc-uk.org