Harpurhey is a suburban area in Greater Manchester that is located 3 miles north east of Manchester city centre. It is an ethnically diverse area, and comprises many shops and other businesses that cater to a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and cultures.
There is a large social housing estate in the centre of Harpurhey, that includes a mix of private and council-owned properties. Harpurhey was identified as the most deprived neighbourhood in England in 2010 in the government-sponsored study, ‘Indices of Deprivation’, carried out by researchers at Oxford University.
The austerity measures and the rolling back of public funds and support by consecutive governments since 2010 have impacted significantly on the livelihoods, life chances and opportunities for many people in Harpurhey.
Despite the structural constraints, many people in Harpurhey are dedicated to the care and support they provide each other. In the face of rising crime and morbidity rates, neighbourliness and a sense of community is fostered by local people through volunteering at local organisations, including the local food bank, the Youth Zone, which caters for young people ages 7-18 and provides activities, food and a safe space for young people to congregate, and the local library which provides activities for parents and infants and a forum for other local events.
We have been drawn to these relationships and places in Harpurhey for this research project. And it is in those neighbourly and caring relations that we find the most robust response to the challenges that Brexit is bringing to the people in Harpurhey.