Progress Trust (1996 - 2006)
Progress Trust was a unique and innovative voluntary sector organisation which came into being in 1996. It was established to work with and give a voice to Manchester's black and ethnic minority communities. It was awarded £36.5 million over seven years from the Government's Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) to fund projects that would improve educational attainment, increase access to employment and training and support business and enterprise - all areas in which black and ethnic minority people were recognised as needing specific support.
The money was been used to fund projects, many of them delivered by ethnic minority organisations, which address a wide range of needs, including mentoring support for children in Manchester schools, a teacher training support project, and training and support for women who wished to enter self-employment.
Black and ethnic minority groups that delivered these projects for Progress Trust received training and support to encourage and enable them to develop systems and expertise in accessing government funding. This in turn allowed such groups to bid confidently for other sources of funding, secure in the knowledge that they were able to cope with the bureaucracy surrounding many sources of funding.
Progress Trust built up a strong and supportive relationship with a number of ethnic minority organisations from the voluntary sector. Progress Trust recognised that many black and ethnic minority people are more likely to access support services from voluntary organisations than mainstream organisations, and that it was vital to work with and develop the black and ethnic minority sector.
In total over 400 black voluntary and community groups were supported by Progress Trust through different aspects of its work. More than 400 young people have benefited from the work, over 350 people gained qualifications, and a similar number accessed employment, to name a few achievements.
Progress Trust was represented on national bodies such as the Employment Service's Minority Ethnic Group and the Employers Coalition, and the Social and Economic Inclusion sub group of the DfEE, in order to give a voice to black people in Manchester. It made a real difference to the lives of black and ethnic minority people in Manchester.
Further information can be obtained by contacting:
Commission for the New Economy
56 Oxford Street