“I loved the idea, simple, but high impact, making people think about all the Great that is in Manchester. It’s easy to take for granted what we see every day – this made us look at where we live again. Inspiring” Member of public

In January 2016, a new cohort of RECLAIM young people, The Powerhouse Pioneers, came from across Greater Manchester to create their Powerhouse Pioneers Manifesto. A key manifesto point reads:

Discarding intolerance makes a great society, embracing our differences makes our Manchester Greater

The Pioneers, many of whom had experienced discrimination first hand, felt that intolerance for ‘difference’ was growing. They witnessed many marginalised communities being scapegoated by the media, causing tensions within communities. The group decided they wanted to combat this by creating a campaign that celebrated what makes Greater Manchester, well, great!

In April 2016, the Pioneers launched their Great Manc campaign. They distributed 200 postcards across Greater Manchester, asking the public to return them answering ‘what makes Greater Manchester great?’. In addition, the public could join the #GreatManc hashtag, and the manifesto point appeared across Mancunian Way and billboards in Tameside, Salford and Stockport. See the Great Manc storify here.

The campaign consisted of:

  • 200 postcards distributed across 8 boroughs
  • Billboards across 4 areas in Greater Manchester
  • A two week long successful social media campaign, engaged by a wide section of the local community, including politicians and community figures

The Great Manc campaign started a much needed conversation, celebrating Greater Manchester’s strengths, inspiring both the public and young people leading the campaign.  As postcards returned, themes emerged including culture, community and history. However, the most consistent answer as to what made Greater Manchester great? Diversity.