Get involved and help us toast our unsung heroes
MANCHESTER council is asking local people for their help to find the city’s unsung heroes and community champions by throwing open nominations for this year’s Be Proud Awards.
The Be Proud awards celebrate local people and organisations who do their bit to help make Manchester a better city for everyone.
The winner of last year’s top accolade, The Pride of Manchester Award, was the Firbank Pub and Kitchen in Wythenshawe. Landlord Simon Delaney has been speaking about what the honour meant to the pub and the importance of giving back to the local community.
“We have had an amazing year in 2016. We won the Best Community Pub of The Year at the Great British Pub Awards and thought things couldn’t get any better but then we found ourselves in the town hall surrounded by amazing people.
“We were presented with the Be Proud award for Business in the Community which was fantastic but when we went on to take the Pride of Manchester trophy, wow – I had goosebumps.
“The award has inspired us to get even more involved with the local community and has let people know we’re here to help. It shows that a busi- ●● ness can being focused.”
Simon hopes the efforts of everyone at the Firbank and the recognition they’ve received will help change the perception of pubs and the role they play.
He said: “There’s a stereotype of pubs as a thorn in the side but we’re a real community space, people don’t just come in for alcohol but to socialise and enjoy a good cup of tea or a posh coffee.”
The Firbank prides itself on their mix of clientele and have signed up to the Age Friendly Manchester campaign, they run a lunch club every Thursday.
Originally intended for thrive while community older residents, the lunches have started attracting younger people too – who found they enjoy the stories of their older neighbours.
The Firbank is also committed to providing jobs to Wythenshawe residents as Simon explained: “We only employee people from M22 and M23 postcodes that have been long term unemployed or are young with very little experience.”
There are now plans to start a community shop to help address food poverty.
Nominations for this year’s Be Proud Awards are open until Sunday, September 10. To nominate your local heroes, go to www.manchester.gov. uk/beproud.
The Firbank collects its award last year