On Your Doorstep Mcr – One small step for MANC!
ON YOUR DOORSTEP MCR
Lockdown was tough; routines as we knew them were forced to change and the familiarity of life as everyone knew it became unrecognisable. When Natalie and Michelle, two long-time friends, music enthusiasts, and mums from Manchester, were looking to keep their kids entertained – whilst juggling the inevitable work-life balance – it was only a matter of time before the pair began noticing new forms of entertainment and exercise closer to home through walking, discovering green spaces in their local areas.
It was from this that On Your Doorstep Mcr was born: One Greater Manchester Adventure, to explore. To learn, share and support. A human-grown experience, ever-evolving through its engaged community of explorers, thinkers, and doers, On Your Doorstep is a vibrant online conversation sparked by uncovering close-to-home gems across Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs. Sharing the sights and sounds of untrodden destinations all wating to be discovered, its Doorsteppers are united through a shared experience of seeking the new and stepping out of the norm.
Swapping their sonic thumbs ups with each other was their natural flow of conversation and as they continued to connect with their immediate surroundings on a deeper level, under newlynewly imposed socially-distanced circumstances with families of their own, their melodic recommendations began to chime with the discovery of each new environment.
“For most people there is a soundtrack to what they feel,” considers Michelle. “Walking and the outdoors is extremely emotive. It’s full of feeling, this is how the idea for On Your Doorstep’s playlists evolved. They are also a great talking point on Doorstep socials. When life is challenging, walking and music are both escapism and great for our mental health.”
Casting their net wider, friends were eager to impart their own recommendations and forms of support; from musicians met during the pair’s time working on specialist radio shows and in events for the BBC and BBC Radio Manchester, University of Manchester and the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM), to family members and friends passing on their knowledge, contributing playlists, offering workshops and collaborating – all pulling together to make everything that little bit easier for everyone.
What started as a way to pass the time gained momentum, and before long, Natalie and Michelle found themselves opening up their own doorsteps to a collective of like-minded souls, all happy to reveal the beauty spots of their own personal journeys. “It’s very organic, the way the way people have become involved and communicate with one another.
We love finding local people through their talents or findings. Friendships have formed from simple interactions and it’s so positive, people do really care about people and for some, that hello each day means the world.” tells Michelle.
With nothing but wanderlust and the wide-eyed wonder of childhood raindrop races in their strides, Natalie and Michelle are embracing the new and encouraging a new tribe of Doorsteppers to join them in shouting about their favourite adventures.
Together they celebrate their city with civic pride and, for On Your Doorsteps’ two hosts, its common ground with their individual second homes – Natalie’s affection for the creative buzz of energetic New York and Michelle’s appreciation for the peaceful vibes of beautiful Ibiza. And yet, both remain staunchly Mancunian.
Wearing blue hearts on their sleeves as avid City supporters, it is a fact; Mancunians can be taken out of the city, but it’s impossible to remove Manchester from true Mancunians. “The best thing about Manchester is its defiance to conform. The people. The realness. The work ethic and of course the music and art.” asserts Natalie, with Michelle quick to agree; “…the history, the sense of unity, pride, creativity, raw talent. Our city is always passionate. It’s a way of life.”
And it’s not only Natalie and Michelle, their fellow adventurers and collaborators, or Michelles dog Wicket sniffing out the new; there’s already a new generation of those catching the Doorstep bug; “Our kids have loved being mini Doorsteppers,” tells Natalie. “They’re coming off their devices to experience new places and things to do. Fossil Hunting in Stockport and Oldham is a definite highlight.” Michelle even recalls finding herself in the garden, armed with a pair of binoculars, comet hunting with her teenage son. “He really enjoys the outdoors but doesn’t realise it until he’s there and I love our chats during our walks – even if we’re just talking about PC gaming! We are making memories. You can’t do it all over again, every outing is unique and that’s priceless.”
GLASS HALF FULL
Discovering and sharing as Doorsteppers together, it is a positive space where everyone is welcome, connections and even friendships – just like their own – are made. “When we first met it was immediately apparent we’d be inseparable,” remembers Michelle. “We have the same daft sense of humour and always look like we belong in the naughty corner… when you meet someone like that you always want them to be there wherever you go. We are very much glass half full people, don’t moan a lot and love to laugh.”
Whether raising smiles or clocking up the miles, therein lies the purpose of On Your Doorstep; you never know when, where or with who, you’ll truly find yourself next.
FEATURING THE PEOPLE OF MANCHESTER – THAT INCLUDES YOU!
To feature a favourite place or walk of your own on the website, just email your pics, with a short description of where you visited. Your name and hometown to:
We had the honour of speaking to Natalie all about her career as a BBC Radio DJ and love of Manchester, check it out:
And learn all about her love affair with New York City (including a fantastic playlist):