Homegrown social enterprise and trike cafe, Grounded MCR has launched a fundraiser to transform a neglected container in Levenshulme’s Cringle Park into a community cafe and events space.
The new venture - that’s looking to launch at the end of summer - will house a barista training area for vulnerable adults, something that’s been a huge focus for Grounded MCR since the beginning. Founded by married couple Kerry and Natalie, the organisation has been committed to training people in barista and hospitality skills, including ex-offenders and those struggling with poor mental health.
“We launched Grounded MCR because we wanted the freedom to bring our whole, anxiety-ridden selves to work, without having to apologise for who we are,” said Kerry and Natalie. “We know we have a lot to offer, and this business gives us the opportunity to build confidence in ourselves and others. We also help our community's collective mental health via free activities and events.”
The Cringle Park space will allow Grounded MCR to host "bigger and better" versions of their already popular events, which have included activities such as yoga, dog shows, fitness classes, music therapy and more. Looking to prioritise and improve the mental health of the locals that pass through the park, there are also plans to house a space for Manchester-based makers, alongside an allotment and gardening club.
To help Grounded MCR realise their dream, the organisation has launched a fundraiser with Aviva’s Community Fund. Looking to raise £10,000, donors can win a number of prizes if the project is successful. Holiday vouchers, original artwork and bakes from local Manchester businesses are all up for grabs, as well as a whole year’s worth of coffee. Aviva will also match whatever money Grounded MCR raises.
The money made will go toward up-cycling the exterior and surroundings of the container, which will be covered in plants and shrubbery to attract bees and insects. A mini allotment will be built on the roof, and the layout will also be revamped to maximise seating space for community groups. Approximately 20% of the funds raised will go toward staff training and another 20% will be put toward the organisation's free events.
With the hospitality industry struggling to recover in a post COVID world, organisations like Grounded MCR are imperative to the retention of Manchester’s incredible community of independent hospitality businesses. Not only will the new Cringle Park cafe provide a welcoming space for an afternoon cappuccino, it will also look to improve and change the narrative around mental health in the workplace.
You can donate to Grounded MCR's Aviva Community Fundraiser via the link below.