In 2003 ten Greater Manchester neighbourhoods won a share in a £50m handout from the Big Lottery Fund. Targetted at areas that had not received their ‘fair share’ of lottery funding, the Fair Share Trust programme set about redressing the balance.
Forever Manchester – the Community Foundation for Greater Manchester – has managed the scheme locally. In the last few months of the 10-year programme it commissioned me (and film-maker Simon Dinnigan), to investigate the impact. I call this book, ‘an alternative evaluation’ because it tells the stories of those who benefited from the scheme and those who put the effort in to make it work.
“I’d already read a few things Len had written when I was introduced to him, including his book, Billy and Rolonde and was really impressed with his writing style and ability to put across honest and compassionate insight. So, choosing him to write an alternative view of the Greater Manchester Fair Share Trust programme was an easy decision.
“I’m happy to say that the decision has proved to be a good one. In I Grew That we have a unique and brilliant record of what local people have achieved, told in their own words, steered with genuine skill by Len and enhanced by his photographs that capture the passion, determination and fun that always accompanies local people doing extraordinary things together.
“Len himself is amazingly easy to work with, a great ally and muse and a powerful community builder. I can’t wait to work with him again.”
Nick Massey DL, Chief Executive Forever Manchester, the Community Foundation for Greater Manchester