MIF’s Neighbourhood Organiser initiative has been designed to enhance our engagement with local communities throughout Greater Manchester. The initiative creates a two-way channel of communication: for MIF to share information and opportunities related to the Festival and The Factory with local residents, and for Greater Manchester communities to let us know what’s important to them and what they want to see from us.

All six of our Neighbourhood Organisers are Greater Manchester residents, deeply embedded in their local communities – a familiar face and trusted voice. They are also integral members of the MIF team, in paid roles supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Here we meet each of the six Neighbourhood Organisers, and discover a little more about their history of community work and passion for their local area.

A portrait of Neighbourhood Organiser Akeim Mundell BEM

Neighbourhood Organiser Akeim Mundell BEM. Photo by Ross Cooke

Akeim Mundell BEM

Neighbourhood: Whalley Range

Roles played within my community: Head of Year 7, Pastoral Leader and Staff Governor. Ambassador, Anti-Social Behaviour Champion, Community Guardian, Activist, Youth Worker and CEO / Founder of Manchester Job Opportunities and Manchester’s Got Talent.

Favourite place to go in my local area: Simply love being out and about on the streets of Whalley Range, due to how loving and vibrant our community is. Love visiting Alexandra Park and enjoying walks around the greenery. Enjoy tasting foods from the variety of diverse, local food vendors.

Email: akeim.neighbourhoodorganiser@mif.co.uk

A portrait of Neighbourhood Organiser Keri Muldoon

Neighbourhood Organiser Keri Muldoon. Photo by Ross Cooke

Keri Muldoon

Neighbourhood: Salford 

Roles played within my community: I chair a local park, putting on events for local companies, shows and groups – for as free as possible, mostly funded from housing associations in the area. I run Broughton’s Flood Group, which has 1,500 members, and I work with the Broughton Trust. I have set up choirs, pantos, dance classes for the children in the area, I do Halloween events, Easter, Christmas, drawing, poem events... I did a Mother's Day chocolate drop. I work with Salford City Council, I've worked with most local schools. I have three jobs: ‘lollipop lady’; Salix Homes customer committee; and now MIF.

I want to give our community a sense of, ‘Wow, I can do this’ – and there are opportunities for us in this world, not just Salford; even though you may not be educated, there’s no stigma – reaching people's potentials and giving them a better outlook on life, happy memories and ambitions for their future.

Favourite place to go in my local area: My favourite place is in the bath, or sat in my jacuzzi in the garden listening to the birds, the sounds of children's voices running around the school yard, nice blue skies. I like to go to parks for walks, picnics, walking along the riverside. My children's favourite place is trampolining centres. I like bridges, wildlife, fresh air – theses places are all in Salford.

Email: keri.neighbourhoodorganiser@mif.co.uk

A portrait of Neighbourhood Organiser David Kay

Neighbourhood Organiser David Kay. Photo by Ross Cooke

David Kay

Neighbourhood: North Manchester

Roles played within my community: I have worked in north Manchester for several years. My current role is as Station Manager at North Manchester FM 106.6, a community radio station based at Harpurhey Neighbourhood Project. I’ve also worked as Community Development Manager at fan-owned football club FC United of Manchester based at Broadhurst Park in Manchester, and as Partnership Manager at Factory Youth Zone (now Manchester Youth Zone).

Favourite place to go in my local area: A favourite place for me in North Manchester is Heaton Park. This is a great green expanse on the edge of the city of Manchester and a fantastic place for walking and clearing your head!

Email: david.neighbourhoodorganiser@mif.co.uk

A portrait of Neighbourhood Organiser Nicky Iginla

Neighbourhood Organiser Nicky Iginla. Photo by Ross Cooke

Nicky Iginla

Neighbourhood: Rochdale

Roles played within my community: Community connector, celebrating everyone’s culture in order to bring people together. I have connected the BAME Rochdale community through running workshops, ranging from asylum seekers’ orientation, global cooking, life skills, mental health, hate crime, and cancer awareness raising – in conjunction with other communities/organisations such as MAMA'S Health and Poverty Partnership, Carisma UK, Rochdale Council, Touchstones, Action Together, CHAN, Cancer Champion, Near Neighbours Faith Communities, Friends and Community Together, and others. We have also pioneered a group of young people aspiring to be leaders called Kings and Nobles and have had sessions with them over the past two years. I'm also the CEO of Caring and Sharing Charity Organisation, Rochdale.

Favourite place to go in my local area: Hollingworth Lake is all round amazing. The amusement arcade, ice cream parlour is a must visit for Rochdale residents and tourists. I do love the Sunday walks on the Smithy Bridge road, watching the serene views it has to offer and watching ducks swimming is so refreshing.

Email: nicky.neighbourhoodorganiser@mif.co.uk

A portrait of Neighbourhood Organiser Dale Coleridge

Neighbourhood Organiser Dale Coleridge. Photo by Ross Cooke

Dale Coleridge

Neighbourhood: Tameside

Roles played within my community: Within my community I’m known as the dancer/musician who is striving towards a better future and also trying help the next generation of artists grow within my community. I run a local dance academy called Goodsouls Dance Academy, and I teach the foundations of street dance, hip hop and performance.

Favourite place to go in my local area: I have a few local spots which I love to go to: Rewind Collectables which is a retro video game store in the heart of Ashton; The Witchwood, which is a pub/club where they have bands on and cool club nights. Finally, we have a lot of green space, so me and some friends tend to walk up to Knott Hill and it’s a beautiful walk through the woodland.

Email: dale.neighbourhoodorganiser@mif.co.uk

A portrait of Neighbourhood Organiser Ali Davenport

Neighbourhood Organiser Ali Davenport. Photo by Ross Cooke

Ali Davenport

Neighbourhood: Wythenshawe

Roles played within my community: I’ve worked at Wythenshawe Park in the Council’s parks department on a Heritage Lottery Fund project about history of the park and Wythenshawe Hall. This included an exhibition, A Park For The People, celebrating people’s memories of the park. I’ve also worked in a community Macmillan role based in the city’s libraries, including Wythenshawe’s Forum Library, supporting people affected by cancer and delivering cancer awareness sessions to groups in the area. More recently, I’ve been involved in conversation events at a local café and wrote a pocketbook of poetry about the pandemic, titled We’re all new to this, putting poems up round Northenden as part of the Up Your Street event last September.

Favourite place to go in my local area: I love that Wythenshawe is so green – there’s so much nature and quiet nooks. That said, I have a soft spot for Wythenshawe Park, especially around the Hall and Nan Nook Woods.

Email: ali.neighbourhoodorganiser@mif.co.uk