Help Grounded MCR survive and the community thrive

by Natalie Lobel in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 26th June 2023 we successfully raised £21,394 with 365 supporters in 42 days

Help Grounded MCR survive, continue to improve community mental health, & increase capacity to offer more training for vulnerable adults.

by Natalie Lobel in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

We'd love to secure the container with a pyracanth hedge - to attract lots of wildlife and keep undesirables out! The amount of hedging we will need to surround the container will be pretty expensive so anything else we raise above and beyond the 10K, will help fund the hedging and also a deeeelightful terrace-y area to sip your drinks on.



1678092790_img_1110.jpgGrounded MCR CIC is a social enterprise serving specialty coffee, hot and cold drinks and locally sourced treats from a bespoke trike. We employ vulnerable adults with poor mental health, training them in barista/hospitality skills. We support local bakers; buy our coffee from a local roastery who pay farmers properly, and offer local makers/crafters opportunities to grow their own businesses via our platforms.


Our key fo1679573428_img_0625.jpgcus is helping our community's collective mental health, via free activities and events. In 2022, we created multiple free community events, from a dog show to a sports day; yoga in the trees to sauna in a wood fired horsebox; music therapy to walks with alpacas around the park and everything in-between. We’ve run reiki and yoga, offered postnatal walks with mental health mates, and provided BollyFit classes for locals.

Our even1679573446_img_0626.jpgts are well attended and this year we hope to put on bigger and better versions. We’ve helped isolated people forge new connections, introduced people from different age/socio-economic backgrounds to each other, acted as counsellors, and made new friends, who've counselled us.


1679569794_1679569795004.pngWe plan to renovate this 40-foot shipping container café, turning it into a community café and event space, with a barista training area for vulnerable adults. We want to continue to provide free, activity-focused and educational events in our local park - to benefit the diverse community. 

We've got big plans. The new space will give us room to train additional vulnerable adults such as ex-offenders, create a mini allotment and gardening club, have space for sports/activities clubs to meet, support/peer-to-peer groups to hang out, an area for local makers to display their wares plus a small zero waste shop in the future. The café menu will consist of dishes created from rescued food, destined for landfill, which will help keep prices down and ensure inclusivity for those on low income.

FIRST DRAFT MOCK UP - in partnership with Manchester Urban Diggers



1678095063_img_3356.jpgConversation and community activities are all SO important to help improve mental health - now more than ever.

In order for ourselves and our community to thrive, we need some financial assistance in the short term, to survive the next few months, and give us the chance to kit out a proper community base and create additional jobs for those who struggle. We'll also be able to continue to put on events/activities for the local community, which in turn aids an improvement in mental health.


1. 1678095157_img_7371.jpgApproximately 50% of the money will be spent on upcycling/rewilding the exterior and surroundings of the container (pictured). We want to cover the container in 'green' walls (plants and wildflowers) and create a bug and bee paradise.  We also plan to create a mini allotment on the roof and next to the container.  We'll hedge in the container to provide additional homes for wildlife and for security. Indoors, we need to redo the layout to maximise seating and provide a group meeting area.

2. Approximately 20% of the money will go towards current staff training and providing budget/hours to train additional vulnerable adults.

3. Approximately 30% of the money will be used to put on FREE events for the community: we'll bring back the walks with alpacas, hold bikes/go kart events, host inflatable assault courses/bouncy castles, be able to pay local service providrs for art, yoga and music sessions.


My w1678094842_img_1357_(3).jpgife Kerry and I (founders), are experienced in hospitality, PR/marketing/advertising, charity work and have both suffered with very poor mental health, which puts us in a unique position to make our business model work. Redundancy, adopting a child and Covid gave us an opportunity to start Grounded MCR, in the hope that it would allow us to use our skills to help improve ours and our employees' mental health. The last 18 months has proved the combo of (specialty) coffee, conversation and community can help solve anything!

We 1678095100_img_7820.jpghave gathered a huge amount of anecdotal feedback about our multi-faith, multi-faceted community and how to understand their wants and needs.

We try to be as inclusive as possible when hosting events and have worked with:
-Children with additional needs/SEN
-Parents and babies/toddlers
-Marginalised groups – LGBTQ+
-Non-English speakers
-Low income families
-Vulnerable adults (specifically those with long standing mental health issues


Even with this exciting new space in the pipeline, we are struggling to make ends meet as a result of delays to the café arriving, cost of living crisis and weather. We currently can't give our staff enough hours, train additional vulnerable adults, offer the same amount of free events to the community, or even buy the correct clothing to wear to keep warm outside all day. We can't always buy enough cakes to support local bakers, afford festival pitch fees, or pay ourselves enough to survive. Let alone spend the money needed to renovate the new café.

WE NEED YOU. This is a tough time for hospitality, with independent restaurants, cafes and bars, closing at a rate of knots. We know everyone is struggling but at this rate, only the big chains will survive and that would be a sad state of affairs.

We'd be unbelievably grateful for your help to secure the future for us and the community. 

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE. Love Nat, Kerry and the Grounded MCR CIC team.


WHEN WILL THE CONTAINER ARRIVE?: We expect the container café to arrive in Cringle Park in late summer 2023. 

WHO DOES THE CONTAINER BELONG TO? Manchester City Council. Grounded MCR CIC  will be the tenants and we have a lease of a minimum of 5 years. 

HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO HIT YOUR TARGET? 4 weeks. We HAVE to hit the target specified - if we don't hit the target, we won't get a penny! It's all or nothing. Gulp.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T HIT YOUR TARGET? Your donation will be refunded. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMETHING CHANGES? If we hit our crowdfunding target and something changes re. the plan for the container, all of the work we want to do will happen on our bus instead. More info on the bus, included.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£40 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Golf bundle (Worth around £100!)

x1 Cuater cap (grey) x1 No 1 Cares What You Shot cap (navy) x1 pack of 12 TaylorMade Tour Response Stripe golf balls x1 'The Open' metal water bottle x1 Golf Monthly golf head cover

£3 or more

Coffee in the summer - pay it forward

Pay now, drink ya brew later. This pledge allows you to claim any hot/iced coffee, tea or hot/iced chocolate anytime in July or August. Terms: Collection from Grounded MCR in Cringle Park or Platt Fields Market Garden any time in July or August only.

£4 or more

Have your cake and eat it....later.

Buy any cake and claim it in July or August. We've got a wide selection from cinnamon buns to Jammie dodger blondies; Biscoff cookie cups to black forest cake and everything (gluten free and vegan included) in between. Collection from Cringle Park or Platt Fields Market Garden in July and August only.

£6 or more

Have your coffee and cake and imbibe it....later.

Buy any iced or hot coffee/tea/iced or hot chocolate plus cake and claim it in July or August. We've got a wide selection from cinnamon buns to Jammie dodger blondies; Biscoff cookie cups to black forest cake and everything (gluten free and vegan included) in between. Collection from Cringle Park or Platt Fields Market Garden in July and August only.

£7 or more

7 of 500 claimed

One prize draw ticket: original signed RANKIN pic

Grounded MCR founder Nat was in renowned photographer RANKIN's show ALIVE in 2013. This reward gives you one entry into a prize draw to win the RANKIN signed print (RANKIN doesn't sign things so this is unusual) and his book, VISUALLY HUNGRY (book alone is worth around £100).

£10 or more

52 of 400 claimed

One prize draw ticket to win a holiday

HOLIDAY! Your chance to win a 2 night stay at Toad Hall Lodges, a space to relax, reconnect with nature, and explore the beautiful Suffolk countryside. See Terms and conditions: Voucher to be sent via email. Holiday to be taken by December 2023. Holiday cannot be taken on bank holidays or between 20th and 23rd July. Sauna and ice bath not included but can be booked separately No cash alternative

£12 or more

15 of 20 claimed

Original art, by Mitch

One original drawing created by our AMAZING artist and head barista, Mitch. Choice of black and white print on A4. Purchaser will be emailed a selection of Mitch's art and can choose from a selection of six varieties

£25 or more

15 of 400 claimed

Five prize draw tickets to win a holiday

HOLIDAY! Your chance to win a 2 night stay at Toad Hall Lodges, a space to relax, reconnect with nature, and explore the beautiful Suffolk countryside. See Terms and conditions: Voucher to be sent via email Holiday to be taken by December 2023 Holiday cannot be taken on bank holidays or between 20th and 23rd July Sauna and ice bath not included but can be booked separately No cash alternative

£30 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Motherhooker bundle of crocheted goods

A set of four coasters and four mug cosies to look really cute in your kitchen. Made by our fabulous colleague, Bindie (Motherhooker). This bundle is one of a kind. Terms: Collection from Cringle Park preferred but this can be posted if you're not local

£50 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Private yoga session for you and three mates

Private yoga session in Cringle Park for the purchaser plus three mates. With Mud Palace Yoga. Terms: Prize is a voucher for the session. To take place in summer 2023, arranged directly with Mud Palace yoga.

£99 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Three sessions spiritual coaching by Anam Cara 333

An online, bespoke three session coaching and self discovery journey, using a combinations of guided meditation, reiki, oracle cards and talking therapy tools - designed to give insight, clarity and techniques to sooth balance and maintain overall wellbeing. Terms: Voucher will be sent by email and sessions to be booked directly . Total duration: 4 hours

£100 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Professional portrait photo shoot

PRIZE WORTH £250 You'll get to hang out at one of the coolest studios in the North West, and have a 1.5 hour shoot with up to four outfit changes and five digital images. Terms: Photoshoot to take place at Atlas Studios, Mornington Road, Bolton, BL1 4EZ Shoot booking dependent on the availability of the photographer and Atlas Studios Voucher to be used before December 2023 Non-transferable to others and non transferable for any monetary value

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Voucher for Pumpkin and Peas

Choose from all sorts of beautiful makes and crafts from Pumpkin and Peas. Maren creates jesmonite plant pots, egg cups, coasters, earrings and felt necklaces, to name a few. Check out Etsy shop for the full range

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Coffee and biscuits hamper

Our local Asda has kindly donated a hamper of coffee beans and branded biscuits worth £30. A bargain! Collection from Asda Longsight only.

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Amazon Echo

A brand new Amazon Echo, for all your robotic needs!

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Ancoats Coffee Company Warehouse City Espresso

1 kg of Brazilian single origin coffee beans, ground to a consistency of your choice . Syrupy, chocolatey, full bodied coffee with fruity notes of plum and blackberry.

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Tiramisu cake from Paradiso Authentic

The most delicious 8 inch tiramisu cake you've tasted from the most gorge of bakers Mattia Paradiso. Choose from Classico, Nutella & Pistachio or Biscoff Terms: Collection ONLY, from Ancoats, Manchester

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

MUD workshop voucher

Manchester Urban Diggers (MUD) run a plethora of workshops from making flower crowns to veg growing; pottery to horticulture. Choose a workshop or a veg box as your reward. Terms: Workshops take place at Platt Fields Market Garden only Veg box contents depend on what's in season

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Voucher for LocalHotelParking

This is a voucher to spend on HAND CUT SURREALIST COLLAGE ART by the wonderful LocalHotelParking - check her prints and more out here:

£27 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Life drawing with House of Payne

Two tickets to life drawing session with Lisa Payne from Drawing with HOP. This is a mindful, relaxing, arty social, that brings together the community. No drawing experience needed. Terms: Voucher will be sent via email. Levenshulme sessions only. Any date before December 2023. Worth £32 - no cash alternative.

£35 or more

2 of 2 claimed

A bundle of homemade hessian goods

BARGAIN 1 x giant hessian /recycled sheep wool cushion, 1 x medium hessian/recycled sheep wool cushion, 1 x draught excluder and 1 tote bag all homemade by our Mitch, whose sewing skills are at least as good as his barista skills, if not even better! Collection only

£35 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Pottery session with Crackpots

Local potter, Chrissie AKA Crackpots is offering a one to one session of pottery creation, at her studio. Whatever your skill level, you're bound to have a cracking good time.

£39 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Reflexology session from Reflexology with Kate

An hours' session with clinical reflexologist Kate who's also a nurse. Pamper yo'self. She's the best. Terms: Voucher will be sent by email or post and must be booked directly with Kate. Reflexology session to take place in Cheadle, at Kate's studio. Must be claimed by November 2023.

£40 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Voucher for Source Kitchen, St Ives

Going to Cornwall on holiday? Live there? Then you've gotta go to Source Kitchen, St Ives. And here's some spends to help whet your whistle. Terms: voucher must be used at lunchtime. No cash alternative

£40 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Pilates classes

A five-class pass for open-level Pilates classes (no previous experience needed!), at the Levenshulme Inspire centre, with Rachael (Levenshulme Pilates). Classes are on Tuesday mornings at 9:30am, and on Friday afternoons at 2pm. You will have 8 weeks in which to use your 5 classes, after claiming your class pass.

£45 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Sports massage from Massage with Alice

Not just for sportspeople! Alice will address the damage that builds up in the soft tissues - this massage is helpful to soothe pain, tension and aches in the body. Terms: Massage to take place in Alice's house in South Manchester

£45 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Beauty voucher at Industry worth £50

Fancy a mani, pedi or other beauty treatment at the coolest cotton mill in Greater Manchester? Claim this reward and you can book a treatment of your choice at Industry, Stalybridge Terms: purchaser will be sent a voucher to book directly with Industry. To be used by September 2023

£60 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Sushi for four plus wine at Manzoku

If you've not had sushi from Manzoku at Society, you've not lived. Here's your chance to pick up an absolute bargain of a meal for four plus a bottle of wine Terms: Sushi x 4 people 1 x bottle of wine Must be redeemed at Society, 100 Barbirolli Square, Manchester M2 3BD before December 2023

£99 or more

10 of 10 claimed

A years' worth of coffee

One hot or iced coffee, tea or hot chocolate from Grounded MCR every week for a year. This is a cracking deal, even though we said so ourselves.

£200 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Hondo guitar and introductory guitar lesson

1 x 1980s Hondo 12 string guitar, plus an introductory lesson from the amazing Pete from Rigby Music. Collection/lesson in Levenshulme. This is a bargain - this is a prize worth at least £250.

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