Marilyn Cuffy papers: Manchester Black Resource Centre and other community and support groups

Scope and Content

The collection includes the papers of the Manchester Black Resource Centre and Community Trust. These papers contain minutes, correspondence, annual reports and documents relating to the establishment of the Resource Centre, details of activities and services, policy documents and the Constitution of the Community Trust.

The collection also contains the papers of a number of groups providing support for black and Asian women concerning the areas of employment, education and community projects. Further records relate to the establishment of a refuge for black women in Manchester and training provision in the fields of youth and community work. In addition the collection includes a number of reports and publications.

See our online catalogue for further details

Administrative / Biographical History

Marilyn Cuffy was involved in a number of organisations including the Manchester Black Resource Centre and Community Trust and other groups relating to black and Asian women in Manchester. She was involved in the establishment of a refuge for black women in Manchester, a member of various management committees and participated in the organisation of other community groups such as the African Cultural Society. In addition she delivered a number of courses particularly relating to youth work and anti-racist training.

The Manchester Black Resource Centre [GB3228.13/1] officially opened in May 1991 and was located in Cheetham Hill. The purpose of the Centre was to provide a focus for community based economic activities in North Manchester aimed at empowering the black community by providing employment, services, businesses and development training. It was intended that the Centre should provide space for community organisations and small businesses, IT services including a career database and job search, training in word processing and accounting and an information exchange to share resources within the local community.

The Manchester Black Community Trust was formed at the Annual General Meeting of the Resource Centre in May 1993 and the Trust was formally registered as a company by guarantee with charitable status in January 1994. The Resource Centre was based in the Old Library Building in Cheetham Hill which was purchased from Manchester City Council by the Tudor Trust in 1993.

The aims of the Community Trust outlined in the Constitution included providing support, guidance and opportunities to black and ethnic community development in Manchester, supporting local businesses and initiatives, co-ordinating strategies aimed at the economic regeneration of local communities and implementing a Unified Education and Training Strategy.

The Black Women's Commune Group [Ref: GB3228.13/2] was set up in 1986 to discuss plans to establish a refuge for black women in Manchester to meet their cultural and emotional needs. The refuge, Sojourner's House (sometimes referred to as Sojurner's House) [Ref: GB3228.13/3] was established in 1991 to provide safe, temporary accommodation for women escaping domestic violence, and was affiliated to the Women's Aid Federation.

Cheetham Asian Women's Association (formerly Cheetham Asian Girls' Project) [Ref: GB3228.13/4] was initiated in 1977 in response to identified isolation and cultural and religious issues experienced by Asian girls growing up in the United Kingdom.

The Black Women in Local Authority Group [GB3228.13/5] was formed in 1985 by black women working for Manchester City Council to identify the needs of employees and the services provided for women in the black community. The Group provided training and career development, organised seminars and workshops and aimed to improve existing policies and practices in recruitment, selection and training.

The Black Women's Workers Group (formerly the Black Women's Research Project) [GB3228.13/7] initiated research into the needs of black women in the community and addressed issues such as equal opportunities in employment. The Group provided a forum for discussion and support for its members and was open to women of Afro-Caribbean and Asian origin.

Further papers in the collection relate to the Black Women in Education and Community Work Group [GB3228.13/6], the African Cultural Society [GB3228.13/8], the Federation of Community Work Training Group [GB3228.13/9], other related papers including information concerning education and training [GB3228.13/10] and reports and publications [GB3229/13/11].


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  • 1. Papers of Manchester Black Resource Centre and Community Trust
  • 2. Papers of Black Women's Commune Group
  • 3. Papers of Sojourner's House
  • 4. Papers of Cheetham Asian Women's Association
  • 5. Papers of Black Women in Local Authority Group
  • 6. Black Women in Education and Community Work Group
  • 7. Black Women's Workers Group
  • 8. African Cultural Society
  • 9. Federation of Community Work Training Groups
  • 10. Additional material
  • 11. Reports and publications

Access Information

24 hours notice is required to view this collection. Material will then be accessible through Manchester Central Library Search Room, Manchester Central Library, St Peters Square, Manchester, M2 5PD. To access this collection please: Contact the archives

Access conditions apply to a small number of records in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Please contact the Resource centre for more details

Custodial History

This collection consists of papers collected by Marilyn Cuffy through the course of her role as a community and youth worker in Manchester, predominantly covering the decades of the 1980s and 1990s. The archive was transferred to the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre in 2015.

Personal Names

Geographical Names