One Manchester, a leading housing and community services provider in the region, takes social innovation seriously. Anton Shultz, Social Investment Manager at One Manchester, explains:

“We believe in the importance of investing in a community through job and business creation and the ripple effect this can have on a neighbourhood. Our philosophy is to invest in projects that have the potential to significantly impact on our social priorities. To do this, we manage the Catalyst Fund. This year, we set aside £150,000 to invest in local organisations and allocate grants and/or loans and support to help them flourish.”

Working with the National Community Wood Recycling Project (NCWRP), EMERGE Recycling takes waste wood from construction sites and donates it to its charitable arm which upcycles it into wood for resale and reuse, as well as bespoke products. This Touch Wood project captured the imagination and interest of Anton and colleagues in One Manchester, in terms of their Catalyst funding.

Lucy Danger, Executive Director at EMERGE, said:

“After running Touch Wood for 5 years, we want to develop Touch Wood further, grow the team and offer more training and volunteering opportunities. We have been thrilled to receive £25k of funding. This has helped us enormously in terms of our business planning process and thinking through the social and environmental goals we want to expand on.”

EMERGE has utilised this crucial financial support to take on a volunteer as a full-time Trainee Supervisor and is developing an exciting website presence linked to their sales and marketing strategies.

Find out more about the Touch Wood project.