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Featured project: Cheetham Al-Hilal Community Project

Cheetham Hill RoadCheetham Al-Hilal Community ProjectThe Cheetham Al-Hilal Community Project is a purpose built community centre in North Manchester.

The team chatted with Abid Hussain, the centre’s Chair, about the projects they run, such as their children’s summer school.

Abid also took the time to show us some great photos of the children who completed the summer school programme, as well as their immaculately organised reports and glossy flyers. He says that although they run on fairly limited resources, they are big on impact.

About the Cheetham Al-Hilal Community Project

The centre opened in 1978 with the primary goal of teaching and safeguarding Muslim children in North Manchester. These days, their reach extends much further and they now run projects and activities that benefit the whole community in a range of ways.

Only nine paid staff are currently employed at the centre and this figure fluctuates depending on funding, projects and budget. The rest of the centre’s work is run by volunteers.

Health and wellbeing projects for the community

One of Al-Hilal’s biggest commitments is a range of community health and wellbeing projects. These are a big priority, as the need for them is keenly felt in the area. Al-Hilal runs an on-going campaign alongside the British Heart Foundation for heart health within Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities.

As well as the Healthy Heart Workshops, they run a Diabetes Education Programme – as diabetes in BME communities is a significant issue. Residents can sometimes struggle as diagnoses are often only available in English. Al-Hilal provides support and language help so that everyone can get the healthcare that they need.

Activities and summer camps for children and young people

During the school holidays, they run children’s summer camps which have been extremely successful – they received Community First funding last year to make this a possibility. Over 100 children attended and took part in sport and other activities. At the end of the programme they had a fun awards ceremony where each child was given a certificate to celebrate completion and the programme’s success.

In term time, Cheetham Al-Hilal Community Project also runs youth projects, with a range of sessions for boys and girls aged 10-19. Around 100 boys and girls come to these sessions each week.

What other activities are there?

Additionally, they run clubs for men and women over 50 and also provide social welfare advice, as well as support so that residents can receive benefits advice. They offer these services with interpreters in a number of languages.

Cheetham Al-Hilal Community Project also offers advice on social welfare, benefits and money matters during two sessions per week led by an expert advice worker.

They’re also to be commended for their progressive work in recycling and waste management. In fact, they’re award-winning, and have been ranked in the top 3 community recycling projects nationally.

Last December, Manchester City Council awarded them the Be Proud award for Project of the Year, the impressive accolade of being the best community project of 2013.

You can see more pictures and read more about the work that they do on their website.

And whether you’re interested in working with children, health and wellbeing or a different sort of community project, there’s something in the Knowledge Bank for you.

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