WHO WE ARE...
Grounded 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.
WHAT WE DO.....(IT'S NOT JUST COFFEE!)
Our key focus 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 events 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.
THE NEW PROJECT.....
We 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
OUR NEED FOR FUNDING....
Conversation 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.
HOW THE MONEY WILL BE SPENT :
1. Approximately 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 wife 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 have 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+
-Low income families
-Vulnerable adults (specifically those with long standing mental health issues
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
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.