On the edge of Manchester city centre, Moss Side is known for its community spirit, is surrounded by three great parks, and is on the doorstep of the science park and universities.
Moss Side has also inspired a range of genuinely local community projects, with people working hard to support our communities and improve our environment. So alongside the daily grind of low incomes, opportunist landlords, and lots of rubbish, there are some great local initiatives and networks, and lots happening.
In our local alleys and streets, and in radio and youth projects, people have shown that hard work together can turn us from feeling overwhelmed and isolated, to feeling skilled and confident to collaborate and change things.
For those actively involved, community projects can offer challenging discussions, interesting ambitions and purposeful collaboration. Above all they offer us healthy activity and good inter-personal contact.
The MossSideStory.uk website is therefore an attempt to help these community projects to inspire wider participation, and to help more local people find out what’s going on.
How you can use the MossSideStory site
You can add your photos of Moss Side to the Photo walls, add your events to the What’s on page, and add stories, personal histories and more. (Register just once and then log in to post.)
Our hope is that with your help we can make this site into a much-needed ‘What’s on’ and ‘What’s available‘ hub for the area of Manchester in and around Moss Side.
Our goal is to improve our local communication, our shared knowledge of what’s happening and what’s available, and the opportunities for more people to participate.
Post lockdown, this is also a moment to recognise and share how much is now available online, from discussions, presentations and training, to arts, theatre and video. Even high quality stuff is either free, or ‘Pay what you can’, or low cost. We hope the ‘What’s On online‘ posts and others can encourage us all to step outside our Faceb**k silos, and inspire us with new ideas and possibilities. When there’s something good, please share it.
Local organisations can post about their projects too, and link to their existing site. The posts for MossSideStory: the album and Legacy90.1 are examples. We just ask you to create an interesting post, not merely a link, and support the site with an equal link back. (See Terms & conditions.)
Using the name ‘Moss Side Story’ comes with support from Barry Adamson, whose 1989 album has this title. It is a memorable name, echoing ‘West Side Story’, and made famous by his album.
Explore, enjoy and… post!
More about MossSideStory.uk
The site was prompted in 2021 with the experience of Covid. Several community projects were reviewing the limited value of their existing websites, and wondering how to make them more visible, and more connected, engaging and interactive.
The groups wanted to be able to update their core information more easily themselves, to post news and events, and invite contact and comments. But they also wanted participants and others to be able to post independently with photos of what they had achieved in their streets and alleys, so they could inspire others. Achieving all that became the brief for this website.
The site is designed to meet accessibility requirements. Posts can be read and clicked on any size screen. Navigation and text can be read by screen readers. It can all be translated in Google Chrome. We’ve made posting as simple as possible, and created non-technical instructions. We’ve even tried to make the terms and policies we are required to produce, readable. It’s always an ongoing task, so user feedback is welcome.
Funding and sustainability
The site has been created without charge by Simon Pardoe of MossImpact in discussion with the community groups. We thought it necessary to prove the concept before seeking funding. Funding is welcome. Going forward, it will continue to be administered professionally and guided by the local groups. The groups will seek funding for maintaining their online presence just as they did before. Local funded organisations can support the site by creating a post and offering a donation. (If you want a post with a more complex layout and are new to WordPress, you can ask Simon to create it for you.)
Comments and feedback welcome.