As we draw the Together In Moston project of community building and personal transformation to a close, people have shared their most heartfelt feedback with us. Gary and I have been reflecting on what we have discovered.

The Power of Human Connection

People were invited to come together and discover what was awesome among themselves and in their place. As one of our Community Builders described, “We have come together as individuals but connected around the same wants as a community.” The group have now formed their own awesome group ‘Together in Moston Nineteen’ and continue to work together and as individuals to offer their skills to community.

Conversations Matter

We took an approach to really listen and understand people. “Questions were asked in such thought provoking ways , no judgments. I felt extremely  comfortable and I could open up. ” Said one of the group. Another person told us, “I’ve never been in a situation where someone listens, then does not start the first sentence with, ‘If I was you!’ ” The coaching and facilitation was instrumental in helping people; find out what was in their way, how to take action to create the life they really wanted to live and in finding their personal way to give back to community.

Laughter Works

We had fun! Gary and I delivered all of our sessions with humour. Whether it was a Laughter Yoga session, a Little Shop of Happiness or a Be Your Best Self session. We all took a look at the things we think, say and do and started to see how if we took ourselves a little less seriously and stopped ‘feeling our own thinking’ and started to ‘manage our mood monkeys’ we could discover that happiness comes from within.

“My experience during the sessions were amazing, Gary makes you feel relaxed immediately and keeps the session flowing with an informal, fun and laughter approach.”

We all have Unique Strengths

In this programme we coached people and facilitated sessions with groups and individuals to discover their purpose, passion, strengths and what thinking was getting in their way. One of the group told us that what made a difference to her .

“Accepting I was capable of so much more than I thought I was, understanding my passions could be possible to achieve and seeing a way forward.”

We helped people see what they had within themselves already and helped them discover how they could use that to grow personally and use their skills and drive to become a Community Builder.

There is Kindness In Community

Moston is a place where there are wonderful people who do great things for each other . These stories of human kindness, the simplest acts really make a difference to people and place. We heard about the deep compassion of someone being with an elderly neighbour in her dying moments, another kind Moston lady who took cooked meals to a local mum-who had only enough money to feed her children, and many more stories of people volunteering giving their time freely to help others who had disabilities, mental health concerns or were lonely. There was an abundance of skill, talent and kindness that we could see.

Starting with What is Good, Leads to Something Great

We started the project asking what is awesome about Moston. We ended it with people having discovered what was awesome about themselves and their place. “I feel on top of the world since having coaching and learning how to  be my best self. I hardly ever have down days now.”

People in the group described how their perspective since attending the sessions and the coaching, had changed and they felt more positive even when things were uncertain. “The world is unpredictable and things change- I don;t know where am I going to end up or what I am going to do but I have a rough plan, and that coupled with the right mindset and an open-mind is all I need.” This person then went on to secure full time paid work in a role that was meaningful and served the community directly. Another Community Builder said, I feel that I can be a positive voice for Moston and North Manchester- through friends, neighbours colleagues and service users. “

It has been an amazing experience for us and for the community Builders we worked with. Gary and I would like to express our huge thanks to the people of Moston who welcomed us to their place and to the Big Lottery for the funding. It has made a difference it has been All Together Good.

Julia Wolfendale and Gary Lotus