10GM - A joint venture to support the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Greater Manchester

Cancer & Inequalities Fund

Would you like to help play a part in increasing early cancer diagnosis rates in underserved communities in Greater Manchester?

The Cancer & Inequalities fund offered grants of up to £5,000 for Greater Manchester-based VCSE organisations to deliver projects that raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of cancer and identify and understand the barriers people face when receiving a cancer diagnosis.

Early diagnosis is often the key to successfully treating cancer. It can make treatment more simple and less invasive and results in 55,000 additional lives saved each year.

The Cancer and Inequalities Fund is managed by Salford CVS, on behalf of 10GM. 

Learn more about our small grants programme

Learn more about our medium grants programme

A Q&A with the award-nominated Creative Confidence CIC

We spoke to Kitty Short from Creative Confidence CIC to learn about her award-nominated project, funded by 10GM, and what equality means to her. 

Kitty Short

1. Tell us a little about the work of Creative Confidence and what led you to form it?

Creative Confidence uses performing and creative arts as a tool to engage individuals in marginalised and disadvantaged communities. This enables individuals who are socially isolated and who lack opportunity to participate in fun and engaging workshops to express themselves and increase their confidence. 

We helped build the confidence of students who had slipped under the radar due to lack of resources and lack of confidence and help give them a voice. We wanted to make sure that not only children of school age but all ages were given the opportunity for their voices to be heard and their talents to be shared. 

2. What led you to apply for Cancer & Inequalities grants from 10GM?

We were made aware of this funding through one of our networks Dave Bradley the Health and Development Coordinator at Manchester City Council and have had conversations regarding the potential of targeting some of the groups we currently work with and developing a different message to help improve the early diagnosis of cancer rates in deprived communities. We know through our existing work that most individuals we work with have poor health and are often uneducated in terms of how they can improve their health, spot early warning signs, access local health care provision and seek advice when they have health concerns or worries.

We have had great success in using performing and creative arts to allow individuals to express themselves and feel empowered whilst also addressing taboo subjects or issues in society that these individuals may not normally be able to engage in or contribute to.

We have spoken to members of the existing groups to assess if there is an appetite to explore this area and help raise awareness in the local community. This has been positively received and welcomed by the groups.

3. Tell us about your grants project?

We delivered an interactive programme at Blackley Community Centre over a 3-month period that provided individuals with the opportunity to engage in weekly sessions. The aim was to educate and empower individuals from lower social economic groups to be more informed and educated about the early warning signs of cancer and healthcare pathways in the area. The aim was to give individuals the capacity and capability to help manage their health and get the most out of the existing healthcare system. We used Performance Poetry and Makaton Sing and Sign sessions to ensure we can use them to:

• Reduce the risk of cancer

• Spot cancer early

• Raise awareness of the national cancer screening programmes

We linked into local healthcare services so that individuals knew the appropriate pathways to access advice and support in a timely manner.

These tailored sessions allowed individuals to have the opportunity to shine and showcase their talents and skills as well as have an underlying message and aim. We used performing arts as a tool to enable individuals to increase their confidence and develop social interactions within their local community, using the following creative activities;

- Performance Poetry- develops the skills to perform as an individual and as part of an ensemble increasing speaking and listening and social skills.

-Makaton Sing and Sign- uses signs and symbols alongside speech and songs developing a new communication skill and increasing community spirit through song.

4. You were shortlisted for the Commitment to Equality award at the GM Cancer Awards 2024. Can you tell us about the importance of equality for you and your work and how you felt when you received the news that you were a finalist?

Creative Confidence prides itself on its all-inclusivity, regardless of their age, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or race.

We love to embrace and celebrate people’s differences, giving them the confidence to allow their voices to always be heard and to dare to be different.

We were thrilled that we have been chosen as a finalist and that we have been recognised for the work we do in our community and will help us to continue to grow and develop more opportunities for our community to shine and succeed.

Small grant recipients

In 2023 we provided small grants of up to £2,000 to VCSE organisations to deliver innovative projects to support improvements in early cancer diagnosis amongst people at higher risk of later-stage detection and diagnosis. The projects aim to reduce inequalities across the cancer pathway, especially for people in often underserved and marginalised communities.

Read about the successful grant recipients. 

Working with refugees and asylum seekers to provide drama workshops aimed at supporting the community to overcome challenges to accessing health care. The workshops will run over 8 weeks and will focus on:

- Raising awareness of cancer
- Empowering participants to talk about cancer
- Challenging stigma and discrimination associated with cancer

Alongside the drama workshops, a bilingual animation aimed at increasing cancer awareness in the community will be produced. 

Wonderfully Made Woman is dedicated to engaging with the diverse community of African/BAME women residing in underserved and marginalised pockets of Manchester, Bolton, and the Middleton area in Greater Manchester.

The 12-week HER Health Programme will see weekly coffee mornings running alongside community workshops, mobile clinics, digital outreach and storytelling campaigns all focusing on targeted sign and symptoms awareness, and improving access to healthcare. 

Working with the Jewish community in Salford. The project will work to educate and empower the community by designing multi-lingual and ethnically appropriate literature for service users and holding community engagement sessions. 

Working with men, older people and racially marginalised communities Old Trafford Boxing Club runs boxing sessions for men and boys aged 6-70 four times a week. A new project aims to raise cancer awareness by hosting a weekly Sunday coffee morning for 30+ people per session for 17 weeks at the same venue.

Working with marginalised communities in Manchester we will run a community Interactive workshop covering cancer prevention, early detection, and emotional well-being which will be facilitated by healthcare professionals, psychologists, and cancer survivors. This will be done once a month. This will also be a safe space for emotional support and information exchange.

Our project aims to support south Asian women in Rochdale by improving their access to timely healthcare through engagement, education, and practical support. We will work with local GPs and healthcare professionals, provide information on cancer symptoms and treatments, challenge misconceptions, and promote community cancer champions.

Salford families in need project

A community organisation specialising in autism awareness and learning disabilities. The project will actively engage our neurodiverse population through our social media, internal networks, and support groups. The project will also aim to engage services and practitioners who support people with neurodiversity.

St. Martin's Church and the local PCN will organise three community sessions in Tameside targeting around 120 people. The PCN will run four educational drop-in sessions to raise awareness about healthcare services. A local GP will be present to encourage early diagnosis and treatment for urgent cancer referral pathways.

Supporting people with an intellectual disability and/or autism in Manchester using engaging sport sessions to promote health and wellbeing. The project will use Basketball sessions to engage the community and working with a specialist learning disability nurse to deliver education and awareness sessions on the early signs and symptoms of cancer.

Working with minority community groups, namely African and Arabic groups with a particular focus on men and older people across Manchester. We will organise at least three events to familiarise target communities with early signs and symptoms; encourage early access to their GPs/screening, and encourage lifestyle changes and referrals to local services. Additionally, they will focus on challenging cultural barriers that stop people from accessing health services such as stigma related to cancer.

Supporting Jewish communities in Salford. Educate and raise awareness of the associated BRCA risk for the target population. Hold engagement monthly events for women to promote BRCA testing and distribute leaflets. We found that men in our community don't attend such events, so we will produce an information leaflet on BRCA testing in English and Yiddish. We will distribute it in places that Orthodox Jewish men frequent, such as synagogues, barbershops, shops, GP surgeries, and pharmacies.

Supporting Black African Men in Greater Manchester to educate and raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of kidney cancer and links to Sickle Cell and other blood disorders. Engagement event discussing and sharing the importance of getting an early diagnosis for this cancer. We will supply leaflets on the importance of recognising signs and symptoms of this kidney cancer.

DOSport's World Cancer Day Event

Creative Confidence CIC will deliver an interactive programme at Blackley Community Centre over a 3-month period that provides individuals with the opportunity to engage in weekly sessions. The aim is to educate and empower individuals from lower socioeconomic groups to be more informed and educated about the early warning signs of cancer and healthcare pathways in the area. We will use the ‘Talk Cancer’ training session to tailor our Performance Poetry and Makaton Sing and Sign sessions.

Each week, the Salford Families in Need Meals Project will speak and educate food hub users to access early cancer diagnosis information. They will create QR codes for them that hyperlink directly to the main NHS early diagnosis cancer-specific leaflets in English, in Polish and Arabic. They'll use every Wednesday at Barton Moss Primary School to promote cancer-specific conversations with their 95+ food hub users using these QR codes. Different people use the food hub each week, so their reach is widened.

Salford Refugee Forum supports people seeking asylum and works with refugees, migrants, and people seeking asylum in and around Salford. The project will hold a Cancer Awareness Event: "Hopeful Hearts". Our event provides crucial information about cancer prevention and early detection to refugees and asylum seekers. "Hopeful Hearts" creates a supportive, culturally sensitive environment that empowers the community with knowledge.

Syngesis CIC's project will aim to raise awareness of early signs/symptoms to improve diagnosis rates, and also educate and empower communities to access and navigate relevant health services. Our project takes a demographic approach to address this issue by focusing on the Bangladeshi/Bengali-speaking community of Oldham, who reside within the most deprived wards.

Khush Amdid is based in Ashton and supports women from predominantly Pakistani origin but also women from other diverse groups. Khush Amdid has supported families but would like to make Men a target group as they have been found to be reluctant to reach out for support in this community. They're hosting two prostate cancer awareness sessions for men, at a community hall after Friday prayers. The local Imam will attend. They'll provide cultural snacks, free blood pressure checks, and information from Macmillan and the NHS. The sessions aim to empower men with knowledge and awareness of prostate cancer for early treatment.

Creative Confidence CIC

Medium grant recipients 

Funded by Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance,  we've provided medium grants of up to £5,000 to VCSE organisations to raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of cancer and identify and understand the barriers people face when receiving a cancer diagnosis.

The Cancer & Inequalities fund invested in a range of projects that will help improve early cancer diagnosis rates in communities at higher risk of a later-stage diagnosis. Early diagnosis is often the key to successfully treating cancer. It can make treatment simpler and less invasive, resulting in 55,000 additional lives saved each year. There are certain cancers which people are less likely to receive an Early Diagnosis for and it is these cancers we find more challenging.

The projects educate and raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of specific cancers, engage their communities in conversations around these cancers and how to access timely healthcare and work towards empowering their communities. Projects link with local healthcare providers such as local GP practices to support their projects.

"The Female Cancer Conversation -3 Es Forum will be a collaborative approach to enable early detection of breast and ovarian cancers in underserved communities in Bolton. This consists of 2 radically marginalised communities that we have close relationships with. These are Asian women in the Dean and Derby areas of Bolton BL3 locality, the female Hindu community in the BL1 locality of Bolton and our 3rd targeted group with women across Bolton who access The Bereavement Café CIC for
emotional health and wellbeing support who have a highlighted need for this support due to their mental health."

"The project, AwareHer, is a comprehensive cancer awareness and community support initiative that aims to address the lack of cancer education and healthcare access among women from lower socio-economic groups, racially marginalised communities, and older populations in Greater Manchester. Through a series of weekly awareness sessions, we will provide comprehensive information on early cancer detection and facilitate access to healthcare services, particularly focusing on breast, gynaecological, and urological cancers." 

"We run a monthly meeting for a socio-cultural purposes to facilitate their integration in to British society. Based on information collected from these meeting that we plan to run a 7-month project (June-December 2024) that leverages our existing monthly meetings to raise awareness on Breast, prostate, and bladder cancer. Each meeting will dedicate at least 1.5hr to an educational and an awareness campaign workshop led by our group's leaders and volunteers who speak same language as participants. To ensure accurate information delivery and effective facilitation, our group’s leaders and volunteers will undergo prior training delivered by Cancer Research UK. This training equips them with the skills to deliver workshops on the 3 types of cancer which people are less likely to receive an early diagnosis for (and which health professionals find challenging), focusing on signs and symptoms, factors leading to delayed diagnosis, and the importance of early detection." 

"The Bloom Project: Empowering Women's Health and Community Connection" is designed to enhance breast and ovarian cancer awareness, education, and early detection among marginalised BAME communities, tackling the challenges of language barriers, cultural stigmas, and access to healthcare. This project involves a mix of practical activities, including culturally sensitive workshops, discussions, and sessions with healthcare professionals, to educate women about cancer signs, symptoms, and the critical importance of early detection." 

"Stand Up Sisters will focus on raising awareness of breast and ovarian cancer. We will run a series of 16 creative workshops engaging with the community (10 at Community HIVE, Bolton Market Place for an ‘opt-in’ group of women and 6 in different venues around Bolton) where we will explore signs and symptoms, how to access timely healthcare as well as the barriers faced in accessing healthcare by marginalised and underserved people in our community." 

"Fatima Women's Association (FWA) aims to raise awareness and provide information about two types of cancer, relating to GI and Head and Neck. There is a lack of awareness of these cancers within the wider community and this is why the project is much needed. The venue will be at FWA and our team will work collaboratively with medical professionals including members from the Christie’s Hospital and with the Cancer coordinator of Oldham PCN."  

Photo coming soon

"The access to timely cancer diagnosis/healthcare [we'll provide] involves: Engaging south Asian women in conversations around female cancers that can be taboo/unspoken ‘women’s issues’; Raising awareness of the symptoms; Removing barriers to appropriate healthcare, and; Engaging with the health and care system/professionals to achieve these aims." 

"Our project aims to enhance signs and symptoms awareness of Cancer and thereby improving diagnosis and empowering communities within the context of addressing the needs of the British Bangladeshi Heritage community in Oldham. By identifying barriers access, and providing education and empowerment opportunities, we aim to significantly contribute to increasing early cancer diagnosis rates in Oldham.
We will expand the scope of our Round 1 project in the cancers we are dealing with and also the breadth of engagement with this Round 2 fund." 

"Our project will increase early cancer diagnoses of Breast, Testicular and Prostate diagnoses of people from Black African and Caribbean communities with the aim of cancer reduction, by empowering self-checks, spotting cancer early and engaging with national cancer screening programmes. We want to break down known barriers impacting this community. Every year, we lose family members and friends due to late diagnosis, and reluctance to follow treatment plans in a timely manner until it’s too late. An unrealistic reliance on faith, in addition to the known health inequalities the Black community encounter compounds the issue. Irrespective of educational attainment, cultural perceptions and childhood myths from ‘back home,’ are ingrained in their psyche." 

"The project will be an extension to our already existing project, working with people suffering from “long-term conditions”. It is commissioned by NHS and ICB to support the community with “Mental Wellbeing Early Education Prevention Programme”, in partnership with the 3 GP Practices – Limelight, North Trafford and Lostock, social prescriber and community organisations. As the platform is created it allows to get the audience quickly on to this project. And bring in cancer conversations with people we are already engaging with. This is going to be a whole person-centred approach." 

Photo coming soon

If you’d like to talk through a project idea or find out more about this fund please contact Hannah, Strategic Lead for Cancer and Inequalities. 

Find out more about work going on to improve cancer awareness and increase the uptake of cancer screening across Greater Manchester.
Woman smiling at a meeting

Cancer & Inequalities Programme

10GM is working in collaboration with GM Cancer, partners from across the wider health system and the wider VCSE sector to achieve a permanent reduction in inequalities and inequity within Greater Manchester. We're working towards finding innovative ways of tackling inequalities by addressing the social, environmental, and economic determinants of health and wellbeing, and ensuring active VCSE participation and parity in strategic work to enhance equality, equity and wellbeing.

People wearing Answer Cancer t-shirts smiling at the camera

Answer Cancer

Answer Cancer is a partnership working to improve cancer awareness and increase the uptake of cancer screening across Greater Manchester. We do so via grants, delivering cancer screening awareness sessions, supporting a network of Cancer Champions, and providing training.

Answer Cancer is delivered by Salford CVS, on behalf of 10GM.

Page last reviewed: 12 July 2024.