The past year might have sucked, but it wasn’t all bad.
Sooo… the past 12 months. Things happened, and it’s been a little bit shitty. And by things, we’re referring to the pandemic, of course. But it hasn’t been all doom and gloom, with Mancs pulling together as a result to provide a silver lining during the 12-month-long storm. To start spring on a high, check out our top wholesome Manc moments of the past year.
1. The weekly clap for the NHS that happened during lockdown 1.0
Providing not only a little bit of positivity, but also a marker to what bloomin’ day it was, the weekly clap on Thursdays was a lovely gesture to our key workers – with many community members taking to their windows and doorsteps each week to give a round of applause to those still working hard during lockdown. People were so keen on it, pans and spatulas were even brought out for the occasion.
2. Communities pulled together to feed school children in need during October half-term
Spurring off the back of Marcus Rashford’s huge campaign against food poverty, businesses and individuals alike pulled together to provide meals for school children in need – with many local cafes and restaurants allowing families to pop in for takeaway or dine-in in a completely discreet manner. It was a moment to be proud of and showed exactly what “community” actually means.
3. Spider-man turned up in Stockport to cheer up children during lockdown
Taking you right back to the beginning of lockdown, one local lad took it upon himself to provide families with a little bit of entertainment during the darkest times of the UK outbreak, dressing up as Spider-man and doing tricks outside for children to watch out of the window. Spider-man made quite a few appearances earlier on in lockdown, and it was very welcomed by Stockport families.
4. Captain Sir Tom won all of our hearts
Hitting the headlines countless times this year, 100-year-old Captain Sir Tom stole the hearts of the nation after walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday. The former veteran exceeded all of his own targets, too, raising a whopping £32m for the NHS. His efforts led to receiving the honorary title of Colonel, as well as a knighthood from the Queen herself.
5. And local lady Win Page went to great efforts to raise money
Inspired by Captain Tom’s incredible achievement, Middleton lady Win Page took to her drive to walk 100 lengths before her 100th birthday – raising a fantastic sum of £19K for the North West Ambulance Service.
6. Mancs joined together to march for the Black Lives Matter movement
Much of the world was outraged following the tragic death of George Floyd back in May – sparking a surge in support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The events triggered a number of protests all around the globe, including in Manchester and London, with hundreds of Mancs turning out to show their support. While the events occurred during the pandemic, the turnout was a great sign that humanity wasn’t quite doomed just yet.
7. United We Stream raised £406K for local hospitality businesses
Rallying for support for local hospitality businesses, in particular Manchester’s nightlife economy, The Warehouse Project founder Sacha Lord launched United We Stream, an online platform where local talent performed weekly to raise funds for local charities. Money was donated to those in need during the national shutdown, with £406K raised so far. United We Stream will return for a NYE special next week, this time, donating all funds to OneGM for the individuals most affected by the virus.
8. NHS workers switched on the Christmas lights
Showing a gesture of gratitude to our region’s fantastic frontline workers, Manchester City Council selected a handful of NHS workers to do the honours this year, switching on the city’s Christmas lights for the festive season. The ceremony was streamed online, with Mancs able to tune in live to see the city sparkle, rather than turn up and watch IRL.
9. A Salford coffee spot started a ‘Pay With A Post-It’ campaign to help those going through a rough time
A lovely community effort to cheer up those who were going through a tough time, The Coffee Collective in Monton launched a ‘Pay It With A Post-It’ scheme, which allowed customers to purchase an additional cup of coffee for a customer who may be feeling down, or who may have lost their job as a result of the pandemic. The scheme was well received, too, with a number of kind-hearted locals paying it forward.
10. Locals pulled together to raise a whopping £77K for a food vendor whose truck was burned down
Following a ‘racist’ attack on his food truck in Moston, local chef David OlaLekan Kamson found his newly launched JustGiving page flooded with donations – resulting in a whopping £77,000 to rebuild his business. The chef had worked hard to save £3000 to purchase the van, and was devastated to find out during a visit to the Post Office that his pride and joy had been completely destroyed – along with all of his equipment. David has now re-opened with a brand new truck, and looks to be flourishing after the incident.
11. A Manc dad cycled all the way to Glasgow to raise money for charity – on a kid’s bike!
Another fantastic effort in the name of charity, local dad Wesley Hamnett cycled all the way to Glasgow on his daughter’s tiny bike back in September, after his charity cycle from Russia to the UK was cancelled due to the pandemic. The incredible journey was in honour of his grandparents, with funds going to Macmillan Cancer Support, Christie Charitable Fund, British Heart Foundation and the Wythenshawe Hospitals MFT Charity.
12. Manchester’s streets looked like something out of a European city with drinking and dining terraces
In the short time that we were allowed to enjoy ourselves, the city’s streets were completely transformed with lovely little outdoor terraces where Mancs could both drink and dine. The change saw a ton of locals flock to local businesses, showing a mountain of support after their initial four-month closures.
13. Manchester trees will lit up with the faces of key workers during the summer
In an effort to show our gratitude to the frontline workers fighting against the virus, local artists Illuminos launched a social media campaign where Mancs could nominate a key worker they knew – with the shortlisted entries being transformed into stunning projections which were then shown on trees across the city. The lovely exhibition spread across popular areas such as St. Anne’s Church, Canal Street, Chinatown and Stevenson Square – and was an absolute joy to see while walking through the streets.