The Arc, run by the Calico Group, is a safe and welcoming community hub in North Manchester where groups and projects have the space to work together by providing services and support both in the community and within the criminal justice system.
This gives individuals access to various mental health and recovery-based services and support. They're given the ability to self-actualise and build a new life for themselves, aiming to become healthier physically, mentally and emotionally.
One of The Arc’s main focuses is on providing a safe space for those struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction as well as those in recovery to get support and overcome the variety of barriers they may face.
The support on offer can range from group programmes such as the Combination Learning Programme, Preparation for Change, Reduction and Motivation Programme as well as supportive drop-ins such as the Women’s Safe Space Drop-in and the Breakfast, Brew and a Chat service they offer.
The support on offer is endless, there are a number more groups/drop-ins to attend, as well as a well-being garden to relax in, bee’s to tend to and a fruit and veg growing pot. The Arc can also provide hot food and drinks and clothes to those who need it.
Through all the work The Arc do they have identified a growing need for Digital Inclusion support in the area, specifically for Prison Leavers or those who have been isolated due to addiction and so are wanting to create an IT and a Podcast suite where they can host digital workshops and use the Podcast room to teach the more technical side of things and record individuals stories as well as letting local organisations use it.
In order to develop this initiative The Arc were eager to submit a request to Equans to apply for funding to allow them to purchase laptops, Microsoft Office Programmes and equipment for the Podcast Suite. The Arc had already been able to source some laptops through donations however needed a further 9.
Equans quickly shared the ‘Community Fund Request Form’ which allowed them to detail the impact this initiative would have on the community, specifically focusing on Digital Inclusion.
Equans were pleased to award The Arc with the requested £5000 which will help them to purchase all of the necessary equipment and develop their digital inclusion workshops. The world is becoming an ever-increasingly digital space and it is essential that communities have not only the resources but also the support, awareness and ability to access what is around them.
Equans were also keen to extend its support by offering to deliver some Digital Inclusion Sessions. Equans Social Value Team have a Digital Deep Dive Programme as part of the Equans Engage offer which would help support The Arc’s Digital Workshops.
"We are delighted at the funding support from Equans which will go towards laptops for the digital skills courses which Equans have kindly offered to support as well.
"These digital enhancements at the ARC will allow clients in Manchester to have direct access to technology, developing their skills in computer literacy with support."
Hayley Boff, Business Development Manager