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Here are some of the things we were involved in. 

December 2017

The Pipeline Project - Launch

The Pipeline Project aims to increase the number of African Caribbean Labour Councillors in Manchester by providing training, advice, networking and support.  The Project was set up by Marcia Hutchinson a friend and co-conspirator in Whalley Range.   We first met Marcia when she came to our Parliament Project workshops at Manchester Metropolitan University in July 2017.  Less than six months later Eve was delighted to be able to support and attend the launch of her initiative to increase BAME representation alongside our local MP Afzal Khan and Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary on 1 December.  The First workshop, which took place at the Big Western, Moss Side, was equally a success with 10 people signing up for the project having heard from a variety of local politicians about their experiences in both local and national government. 

December 2017

Street Support Raising Bee

On Tuesday night, over twenty volunteers gathered in Manchester on #InternationalVolunteerDay to offer their support to the homelessness network.  Street Support, which connects an online network of organisations and voluntary groups working together to end homelessness, run this monthly 'Raising Bee' to work on features requested from people experiencing homelessness and frontline workers, as part of Manchester Homelessness Partnership.    Street Support seeks to make it as easy as possible for people to either give or receive help across the homelessness network.   As Christmas draws near and the weather grows colder, both the demand for homeless services and the desire to volunteer intensifies, this raising bee therefore helps play a key role in directing this kindness to where it is most needed. Eve is currently working with Street Support on a peer research project to gather feedback on what is working and not working to help satisfy investors and to inform the organisations future development.  She is also working with the organisation to help develop more person-centred recruitment, retention and development and a self-managing model to help boost capacity and accountability.

December 2017

Great Get Together - 'Tis the season!

As winter draws in and with it the long dark evenings, it is warming to see people commune, share food and create some collective winter cheer.   My weekend was brightened as we gathered for our BikeHive Xmas ride and Great Get Together.  A snowy cycle ride, meeting friends new and old, hearty bowls of soup, games, conversation and shared appreciation and celebration of all we've achieved in 2017.  All provided a good boost to physical, emotional and social wellbeing - all five ways to wellbeing satisfied on one beautiful clean sweep - Connect, Give, Be Active, Keep Learning and Take Notice.  And just a five minute ride from the park, our Winter Wonderland was underway at Manley Park Primary.  Schools have long provided an important community hub, naturally bringing people together within a community for shared learning, giving, care and celebration.   As ever it was a wonderful sight.  

November 2017

Building a culture of welcome with Manchester City of Sanctuary

Being a trustee of a small but ambitious charity is never easy.  When it is a charity working with some of our most vulnerable citizens within a 'hostile environment' it can at times feel utterly overwhelming.   Keeping the agenda at our monthly City of Sanctuary trustee meetings to a manageable length and the mood hopeful is key to maintaining positivity and and productivity across the small but committed team.   A warm welcome from David Few, co-chair, reminds us of why we are there consistently, coupled with a check-in, makes for a good start. Our quarterly meetings with our advisors (who all have lived experience of sanctuary seeking) help to really ground us and better appreciate what the charity is and isn't doing well.  Key this week was the question of how our small management team can enable all volunteers and supporters to feel empowered to make decisions and take action - a question I'm enjoying working through with them all as I help them to introduce One Page Profiles and ways of working together in peer-support teams.

September 2017

Groundswell: Bicycle Culture Rising

We were delighted to welcome Elly Blue, author of Bikenomics: How bicycling can save the economy, and Joe Biel, publisher and film-maker, to Manchester to help us kickstart September with this 90 minute video and discussion programme featuring their short documentary films about people and communities who are using bicycles for social justice.  Their catalogue of documentary films explored the journeys of a range of activists, advocates and political leaders and highlighted the need to have all three, working together, to build a true cycling city.  A diverse range of stories including a single mum who is arrested for riding to work, a community working together to create a bike shop, a masked superhero who takes to the streets of Mexico City, and more.

In between films Elly and Joe facilitated a discussion about issues of class, race, gender, economics, and cycling. 

The event was kindly hosted by Popup Bikes.

July 2017

Tackling homelessness in Greater Manchester: Re-connection, collaboration and co-design

On Tuesday 160 people convened to co-design #GM homelessness strategy.  As ever, it was inspiring to see a diversity of people come together with a common purpose. This included people with lived experience, frontline workers,  senior managers, activists and politicians.  The event is one of a series of events and initiatives to bring people together as Greater Manchester's Homelessness Partnership Network following a commitment by Greater Manchester's Mayor, Andy Burnham, to end rough sleeping by 2020, and under the leadership of Beth Knowles, a Manchester Councillor, and Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South.   It was a privilege to support Katie and Maria at amityhcd CIC to facilitate the event and help hold a space for inclusive participation.  As ever there was lots of rich learning too for us as facilitators as captured in our debrief today

July 2017

#OurGM? Can we grow a 'Wholeself City Region'...?

Manchester to the power of 4 - 'Space for human growth and liberation'

M4 started as a small independent collective of people with shared values around inclusion and citizenship and a wish to facilitate spaces for human growth.  This week M4 grew branches! A Community Learning Festival at Manchester Metropolitan University provided a welcome space for us to explore our vision of a 'Whole-self GM' and nurture connection to self, each other, Greater Manchester projects & #OurGM.  Read more....

July 2017

If women had power?

Last week was dominated by women and power events with the first Northern Power Women Live event in Leeds on 6th July, and the unique Manchester International Festival production of What if Women Ruled the World on Friday evening for Eve and Nicola. Both gave us a chance to hear the stories and trailblazing debate of women experts in their fields and on gender equality. Simone Roche's interview at Leeds Live with Marzia Babarkarkhail, described as 'Muslim, Feminist, Refugee & Judge' was a particular highlight, and Natalie Reynolds' reflections on women and negotiation gave food for thought on a very pertinent topic. A great week for insightful expertise on women and achieving equality. FOr some of the Leeds Live flavour check out Northern Power Women's podcast.

June 2017

Collaboration in NHS Digital Transformation

In June Nicola supported the South Central & West Commissioning Support Unit with the away day for the Digital Transformation team. A productive Monday morning hosted by Andy Kinnear (@Andy_Kinnear) saw the team putting some working out loud and other collaboration tools into practice. Also sharing ideas from Greater Manchester's @CollabOutLoud on new ways to transform public services.

May 2017

#GE2017 - Manchester Panel - Politics and Participation in Greater Manchester

Whilst others watched #BBCLeadersDebate Eve enjoyed participating in a rather different #GE2017 panel debate with Manchester citizens at the beautiful Portico Library.   Along with Clare Devaney,  Jack Hunter and Andy Mycock,  Eve provided 'political commentary' on the mayoral elections, the upcoming general elections and the people's response to the recent terrorist attack in Manchester.  The ask was to help stimulate a free flowing conversation between panel and participants.  The following debate meandered between political structures, the potential demise of party politics, a rise in Manchester activism and reflections on the importance of spaces and words.  The conversation ended with this wonderful quote from a member of the audience, 'I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.  Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Being willing is not enough; we must do",  Leonardo Da Vinci.  Thank you to the Political Studies Association for sponsoring the event.  

May 2017

Working Out Loud Serendipity

Serendipitous moments were the backdrop to a workshop delivered at the Smile Expo by Nicola with Lesley Crook on 23rd May.  Having met in a Working Out Loud circle facilitated by Nicola last autumn we wanted to share our experiences about the need to ‘go deep’ into influencing our own behaviours to be effective collaborators in the digital workplace with this Internal Communications crowd. Insight into the latest on Workplace by Facebook from RBS, Sharon O’Dea’s (@sharonodea) insights to the use of chat bots and all manner of other conversations were all good preparation for sharing more thoughts during #wolweek 2017 (5-11 June) and you can see more of Lesley’s work on ‘Working Out Loud in a Network’ here.

May 2017

Women and political representation

A rash of events as co-leads for the Parliament Project North have been happening in May 2017. Eve spoke at the Young Women & Political Participation conference at Huddersfield University on 20th May. Read about Nicola’s experiences at the inaugural WOW Chester 21st May, on the Women and Power panel with Northern Power Women, 5050 Parliament and Women’s Equality Party. We are really looking forward to returning to the stunning new Storyhouse for WOW in the North West in 2018 already.

April 2017

Participation in digital skills agenda

27th April saw us gather with some of our favourite facilitators and change makers to deliver participatory sessions at the TechNorth Digital Jobs Action Summit. A fantastic experience to work with representatives from government (local, regional and national), business and education establishments to deliver solutions for the north’s digital skills challenges.  Workshop sessions were co-designed with Amity HCD.

April 2017

Cycle Coaching Communities

Nicola has published a number of articles recently on her experiences supporting women cycle coaches in the UK and Namibia, including in Coaching Edge (available as a Sports Coach UK blog), REACH and British Cycling.

January 2017

Women's voices & Spanish links!

In time for Christmas we were published in Public Sector Focus looking at the DivaManc campaign and what we could all learn about using devolution as a genuine opportunity to open up participatory spaces for the voices of all. Very excitingly this article was then translated and published in Spanish in Tribuna Feminista - Happen Together goes international!!

June 2016

UK & the Sustainable Development Goals

The British Council published the report co-authored by Nicola with Holly Dustin and Helen Mott,  'Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls: meeting the challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals'

June 2017

All things cycling as Mobike come to Manchester

The world’s biggest bike sharing scheme has come to Manchester. At the launch event, Eve was interviewed for CityCo Cottonmouth podcasts along with Steve Pyer of MobikeUK and Liz Clarke from Bikeright about all things cycling and cyclist in Manchester.

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Happen Together CIC

For you, for your work, for social change

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