Walking around Manchester during my day job as a Project Manager helping the Homeless and rough-sleepers move away from the streets, I often find myself wondering where we went wrong? The City Centre is filthy, China Town is a wreck, the Gay Village has become a sad parody of what it once was but at least we have our Bees!

This may be controversial but I’m going to say it anyway – “I’m a proud Mancunian and I’m sick to death of seeing bees”.

It’s been nice seeing families walking round town in the sunshine following the bee trail but people are more obsessed with getting bee selfies than remembering the tragedy that led to our current bee infestation. They may be dying out in the world but they’re certainly multiplying in Manchester.

I proudly wear my bee tattoo and I get the car stickers and T-shirts, but they all created an amazing buzz (pardon the pun) and they raised a lot of money for a much deserved charity.  But now our creative community are obsessed with them and it’s been some time that I’ve seen a flyer, a piece of street art or (much more concerning) corporate endeavours that doesn’t have at least one of the stingy blighters!

There’s even a cheap motel up near Ancoats covered in the bloody things who I very much doubt have an ethical business strategy that channels profits into good causes – they’re happy to jump on the bee bandwagon but do they have the MancSpirit?

Manchester is in serious risk of losing it’s way and when it does we’ll all blame the Council and property developers but what have we done? Do you ever get down to Hatch support the McrArtJam or go along to a debut play at 53Two – do you even know where they are?

Manchester was the inspiration for Northern Soul, the Madchester sound, the TUC, Dangermouse and even Vimto – if you haven’t got a bottle in your cupboard hang your head in shame.

So if you’ve had enough of Spice obsessed parasites ruling our streets, everyone using the excuse of austerity to not bother doing anything or you’ve give in to the fear that the media creates then we don’t want you involved.

What we do want is to foster that MancSpirit that inspired the bee tattoo and help us to create the next Manchester revolution. We want you to explore what being Mancunian means to you and share that with us. But most of all we want you to join us in going ‘Beyond the Bee’ and embracing creative Manchester to provide inspirational events that improve mental well-being.

Prove to the World that we are Amazing and that we haven’t lost our identity.

Cheers,

Damian

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