It’s been a challenging year on so many levels: a year of tragedy, fear, hunger, pain, and there is no doubt that Christmas 2020 will be like no other before it.
But it has also been an inspiring year. As communities have come together the response has been nothing short of extraordinary and the Foundation continues to be closely involved with city-wide initiatives such as the #oneGM campaign, which brings people from across Greater Manchester together in support of people and businesses facing a challenging time as a result of Covid-19.
DMSF have long understood that there is much we can do to support the wellbeing of children and young people and supporting their mental health during periods of disruption is key; regular exercise, for example, can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more.
We are so proud of each and every young person involved in DMSF programmes, projects and initiatives and for the first time in our history we were able to employ the services of 5 young people who did a fantastic job of making our RFU Family Fun Day, in partnership with The National Lottery and Sport England, simply amazing. Their planning, commitment and delivery was inspiring. They are credit to their families, their schools and colleges and model ambassadors for the foundation.
This year we secured funds from a small number of funders to help ensure our sustainability and that DMSF will survive this pandemic, including We Love MCR Charity, which helped us give heart, hope & opportunity to young people in Manchester when they need it most. Their funding enabled us to develop engaging and inclusive digital projects, supporting the well-being & mental health of young people to virtually meet their friends during this isolating lockdown. This included our popular DMSF Debates series, Video Chats, Life Skills, Nutrition and Training with Bex. More of these inspirational sessions are planned for 2021.
We’re not out of the woods yet and I am grateful to our amazing friends, supporters, donors and partners for your continued support and to have had the opportunity to work with. Without your commitment we just won’t exist – please continue to back us and our efforts to take the chance out of success and make it a choice.
My team has been phenomenal throughout this whole year, going way above and beyond expectations. I’m humbled and grateful for their commitment, their unbounding resilience and to their dedication to ensure that young people across Greater Manchester are supported, encouraged and inspired.
With the New Year we will welcome Lisa Morton, Jack Murphy and Abid Hussain as our newest recruits to the DMSF board. They will bring new insights and perspectives to the board and we look forward to working together.
It’s a privilege to work alongside this team – 2021 better be ready for us!
On behalf of the board and our whole team, I would like to wish all our young people, partners, staff, friends and families a very Happy Festive Season and a prosperous New Year.