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MPCAN reviews a year of achievement and transformation

Miles Platting Community & Age-friendly Network launched their annual report this week at an Annual General Meeting full of exciting progress and growth.

The current committee presented their Annual Reports and Accounts before standing down for the election. All previous candidates were re-elected and will continue to serve in their same positions, with the addition of Anne Worthington as a second ordinary committee member alongside Bridget Doherty. The newly elected MPCAN committee for 2024/25 is:

Chair: Sheila Davies

Vice Chair: Sue Anya

Secretary: Ellie Trimble

Treasurer: Andy Watson

Committee member: Bridget Doherty

Committee member: Anne Worthington

The Annual Report presentation highlighted an amazing year for the network, with lots of fantastic community action and achievements well worth celebrating.

Miles Platting Wildlife Corridor

The Climate Action group were delighted to be one of the Round 3 grantees for the Greater Manchester Green Spaces Fund. Leaders thanked Dr Jenna Ashton, University of Manchester, for her tireless support without which this award would never have been possible. The funds will be used to enhance and improve biodiversity around four key green spaces across Miles Platting. Plans are well underway, with Suzanne Walton from Groundwork leading on this to support the development of a Miles Platting Wildlife Corridor. The group has also received funding through City of Trees to pay for 30 new trees along Ridgway Street which were planted just last month. Well done to all members for your great work in making Miles Platting greener!

St Cuthbert’s Communities Together

The St Cuthbert’s Action group have also had an exciting year taking forward plans for the community-led redevelopment of St Cuthberts Church on Oldham Road. Supported by partners from Participate Projects and Locality, a new charitable incorporated organisation is being registered called St Cuthbert’s Communities Together with board members nominated by the Parochial Church Council and MPCAN. This initiative aims to bring together residents from across Miles Platting, Collyhurst and Ancoats behind a shared vision for the area. Following extensive community consultation in 2023, this will include a worship space; a multi-purpose social space for these three communities to gather together and socialise; and a range of possible services from health to housing. There is much work still to be done and consultation will be ongoing as the plans develop.

Rev. Ellie Trimble discussing MPCAN’s vision for St Cuthbert’s church

Social Homes for Miles Platting

2023 additionally saw the formation of a new campaign called Social Homes for Miles Platting. Launched at MPCAN’s brilliant family funday and consultation event in October, this has also triggered a city-wide campaign called Social Homes for ManchesterAfter a day filled with fun, music and free pizza, residents marched over to the plot of land behind Jigsaw Homes where a joint service centre was supposed to be provided under the original Miles Platting PFI, to call for social homes to be constructed on the site. MPCAN leaders will meet with the Executive Member for Housing in June to hear the city council’s response to this proposal.

Local resident Eric Keeble presenting the climate action group’s achievements

Wider impacts

The evaluation that underpinned this year’s annual report highlighted a series of outcomes achieved throughout 2023 illustrated by reflections from local people involved in running member groups or from the MPCAN Committee.

Increased funding: Leaders recognised that organising through the MPCAN network had resulted in attracting increased funding for local health and wellbeing or age-friendly groups, and for households in need of support.

“We are part of a new fundraising movement called One World Together who are going to channel unrestricted funding to grassroots initiatives and movements – and this is going to be really helpful because it gives us flexibility to address crisis or urgent challenges.”

MPCAN Leader

Social interaction and community-building: Leaders feel that participating in MPCAN has allowed them to build connections with other local residents and establish a sense of community over their shared values and aims.

“I’ve benefitted by getting to meet nice and interesting people and being involved in something that is worthwhile, feels exciting, and has the potential to do some good. I’d be staying at home watching TV if I wasn’t doing something like this.”

 MPCAN Leader

Stronger collective voice: MPCAN leaders additionally feel as though there is a collective voice for residents in the local area and they have gained the confidence to use this voice to communicate with public agencies, the local authority, residents, and community groups about issues that are important to them. As a result, new partnerships have been built between members of MPCAN and professionals allowing for increased funding for neighbourhood initiatives.

The biggest change that I have seen is the can-do attitude and confidence that  MPCAN members have now, a feeling that together we can actually influence the decision makers and fight for what our community needs, a community that has lost so much. The narrative is changing. There is hope of a better future, a sense of healing.”

MPCAN Leader

Achieving change isn’t easy, with disconnection from public authorities and the limited time and capacity of members often posing challenges, but there is a strong culture of encouragement in the network that enables leaders to support each other. Members have learnt that there is power in numbers and having a clear, collaborative vision is key to organising around issues affecting the community. 


“I feel like we have got more of a voice now than we ever have become. We’ve grown, more people means more power. No matter how many times we get knocked down we get back up and carry on.”

MPCAN Leader


“Members of MPCAN have a stronger voice by working together which is resulting in change. We have a clear vision and have organised around that.”

MPCAN Leader

Future aspirations

Looking forward to 2024 and beyond, MPCAN’s aspirations are focused particularly on three main areas:

  • The growth and sustainability of MPCAN as an umbrella for community groups in the area
  • The achievement of key objectives for climate change mitigation, social homes; and the creation of a new social centre for the area
  • The importance of the social centre having a democratic structure.

Congratulations MPCAN on all your incredible work over the past year! We are excited to see what the future has in store and to achieving more amazing community action in Miles Platting.