The Rusholme and Fallowfield Community Forum was established on 10th March 2000 as a result of an NHS Manchester Central Primary Care Trust initiative. Later the Forum became an independent organisation, still retaining its emphasis on the promotion of the good health and wellbeing of the people of Rusholme and Fallowfield. The Forum became a Registered Charity in 2006.
The Forum’s primary role is to connect with the very diverse local communities to provide information and promote good health and other related issues. This includes becoming involved and supporting the activities of both local voluntary and public sector organizations. In addition we provide a means for communication and networking between these organisations.
Rusholme & Fallowfield Community Directory
One outcome of our activity was the growing realisation of the need to more widely publicise the services and community facilities available to local people. The Forum therefore set about producing the Rusholme & Fallowfield Community Directory, a task involving a considerable amount of work on our part. But it has proved well worthwhile. The Directory was launched on the 14th December 2006. The Forum then undertook the distributing of some thousand copies; a task which was completed in 2007.
Rusholme & Fallowfield Community Website
Despite the fact that the task of producing the Directory was very time consuming we recognised that the task was only half done. In addition to the Directory we needed to provide a Community Website to promote our activities and those of other local organisation and to provide our Community Directory online. The website came online in 2008.
Youth Needs Survey
Our work with the local community highlighted the need to pay more attention to improving the health and wellbeing of young people and to play our part in helping to expand the resources available to young people both in terms of recreation and personal development. It became clear to the Forum that there was a real need to improve the communication between young people and the service providers in both the voluntary and statutory sectors and for the young people to be involved in the decision making process of the services provided. In 2009 it became clear that the Forum needed to know from local young people what they thought about issues of health and wellbeing, what activities they were involved in, what were their aspirations and their fears. The Forum therefore agreed to conduct a survey of local young people through a comprehensive questionnaire.
At the Forum’s AGM held on Wednesday 3rd June 2009 at Trinity House Community Resource Centre we launched the result of this work, the South Central Manchester Youth Needs Survey Report 2009. This 58 page publication is based on 733 sets of usable data from the questionnaires we distributed. It covers 14 ethnic categories, which are contained in 5 ethnic groups. The age range is 11 to 19 years of age and the Post Codes covered are M12 to M16 inclusive and M18 to M21 inclusive; it also includes some 40 recommendations.
The South Central Manchester Youth Needs Survey Report 2009 has been widely distributed and is now also available on this website www. This publication has been used by local voluntary organisations as evidence of need in support of successful grant applications for youth provision in the areas of health and wellbeing.
LINK Rusholme and Fallowfield Good Neighbours Scheme
In 2010 the work of the Forum became increasingly concerned with the need to tackle isolation and to provide a helping hand to people in our community who needed it, particularly but not exclusively the elderly, the isolated and people with disabilities.
Working with Valuing Older People and the Ward Support Officers we held a consultation event in June 2010 at which well over 60 older people attended. This showed the need for a Good Neighbour’s Scheme not only for older people but for the benefit of the whole community. As a result, in September 2010 the Rusholme and Fallowfield Community Forum and Commitment in Communities (CiC), another charity working in our area, started working together to establish a Good Neighbours’ Scheme for Rusholme and Fallowfield and this is the main project we are involved in at the present time.