Back in early-nineties Manchester, people living in the inner-city communities of Hulme and Moss Side were fed up waiting for public services to support them, and started to develop their own solutions – needle exchange, family support, play schemes and self-help groups.
This is where we started. We recognised that people often faced a variety of difficulties, but they also had strengths and things to give. They were people, not problems. By working together to set up services, Big Life benefited from their strengths and the insight of their life experience.
At the time, services for poor people had the longest waiting lists, the worst quality buildings and the least care. We decided Big Life would be different; we would give people first class support, tailored to what they really wanted.
It wasn’t easy, and many of the people we worked with had already been turned away from traditional services because they were too difficult, or had tried to change and not succeeded. But we believe that everyone has the capacity to change and we resolved to never give up, and keep offering opportunities for people to change their lives.
Over time, we grew, working in more communities, in more towns and cities, offering more services, but still with the same mission to change the world and turn it upside down. We’ve not stopped growing, and have never been afraid to tread new ground and respond to new and bigger challenges.
We know we can’t do everything, and over the years we have benefitted from being able to work in partnership with other great organisations, including public services, private businesses and voluntary and community groups.