Updated: Dec 1, 2020
The United Caregroup was founded approximately forty years ago in the home of Mr George & Mrs Lethe Brown which later developed with a team of volunteers:- Daisy Jones, Grace Manning, Viola Fregene, Joyce Waite, Carmen Rooms and Arthur Barnes; which then moved to Wilbraham Road operating on Thursdays and Saturdays.
In the early 90’s they were able to secure council funding which included food subsidy and over 15 free community hours at the Greenheys Centre on Lloyd Street where they continued Thursdays and Saturdays. The group later acquired space at The Probation Centre on Moss Lane and operated from there on Mondays also. Milton Bryan used to do pickups and drop offs; Stan Campbell and Reaverse Barnes joined them during this period.
Revearse Barnes – IT Tutor
During that period United Caregroup provided a two course lunch consisting of a main course with salad, a dessert and a drink. The group catered mainly for seniors in the community but with an open door policy where anyone could purchase lunch for £3.00
Unfortunately, United Caregroup lost their City Council funding in 2008 . This was due to the fact that with the passing of Lethe Brown, there was no one available to complete funding forms and present reports and receipts on time. The group also lost the use of The Greenheys Centre but continued to work on Mondays from the Probation Centre. This was supported by funding from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and various other volunteers. Due to the fact that a number of the founding members had passed away, Deborah Lauder became responsible for co-ordinating the group.
Once again with the loss of the space in the Probation Centre and some negotiation by Pastor Michael Simpson of the MTTC organisation and Seventh Daay Adventist Church, we secured the back kitchen at the Powerhouse on Moss Lane East. MTTC was added to United Caregroup when Yvonne Lauder took over as Co-ordinator.
As co-ordinator, Yvonne initiated the expansion of the group’s activities to include IT sessions. These sessions are aimed at enabling senior members of the group to use tablets and laptops. This is a way of ensuring that the elders are able to keep in touch with distant family and friends. It’s also an opportunity for them to learn how to complete forms online and to shop on line if they so wish, The group was successful in obtaining funding from the Age Friendly Network Hulme & Moss Side to purchase the tablets and a laptop and launched the A Byte 2 Eat in January 2017. The group’s activities also includes arts & crafts, needle work, quizzes and play board games.
In 2018, the group worked in partnership with the Louise Da-Cocodia Education Trust, Active Community Elders (ACE) project in producing an 15 month Black History calender. The calender featured members of the MTTC A Byte 2 Eat Project and Lord Mayor Roy Walters and his wife Elsa. The Lord Mayor met HRH Queen Elizabeth at the opening of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Photograph by Dorothy Innes-hand
Left: Yvonne Lauder Co-ordinator MTTC A Byte 2 Eat Project
Cora Lee main caterer and members of her family