News & Blog


Bee Coordinator

Volunteer Bee Coordinator joins the Manchester team!

Canon Adrian Rhodes has joined the Volition team as our Volunteer Bee Coordinator. Known as the “Canon Apiarist” at Manchester Cathedral Adrian has been a beekeeper since 2011, keeping bees at home, on the roof of Manchester Cathedral and is mentor to our volunteers who look after the Beehives at Manchester Cathedral and the Printworks. […]

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Sir David Richards, Patron of Volition

Sir David Richards has become a patron of Volition Community following a visit last year to see the work of this charity. Welcoming Sir David, the Dean of Manchester thanked Sir David for his commitment to this programme which runs from Manchester and Liverpool Cathedrals. Sir David, encouraged at the outcomes of this programme of […]

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Bee Hive Live Stream

Bee Hive Cameras Live Stream

We currently have two bee hive cameras upon the flat roof of Manchester Cathedral, click on the play button below to view the bees and their hives.

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Nominated for a best partnership working award

Volition Team -John Emsley, Amie Smith, Tony Maunder and Andy Pierce

We were nominated for a ‘best partnership working’ award at this years financial inclusion conference and came runner up!

  1. Reason for the nomination / how does the nomination meet the award category?

The Manchester College (TMC) has a strong and strategic relationship with Volition; The Manchester Cathedral Volunteer Programme, an independent charity chaired by The Dean of Manchester. TMC’s mission to improve lives and economic success through learning and skills firmly aligns with Volition’s core belief that volunteering tackles poverty and social exclusion.

Designing quality interventions which support the long-term unemployed in their paths to the labour market and employment is very challenging, given the range of barriers they face. Close collaborative working between TMC and Manchester Cathedral has resulted in the provision of year round, qualitative training and employment support for volunteers. Since inception by Manchester Cathedral in 2012, over 700 volunteers have benefited from the programme with an overall 50%  now in jobs.

TMC targets specialised support at some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised communities within Greater Manchester. The TMC / Manchester Cathedral partnership is successfully reaching out to and engaging these individuals by providing intensive support, training and mentoring to explore their needs, raise aspirations and increase experiences. All of this delivered from the historic buildings of Manchester Cathedral.

  1. Legacy/benefit as a result of the project – outputs & outcomes?

Candidates referred to Volition are not recently unemployed. Over 60% have been workless for over 36 months and 20% for over 5 years. Almost all present multiple barriers to employment which include:

  • 35% mental health issues
  • 70% below literacy and numeracy standards expected year 6
  • 15% dyslexic or dyscalculic
  • 50% no qualifications
  • 70% from a workless household

This demographic makes the successful delivery of the programme and reintegration into the labour market very challenging. Despite this, over 50% of candidates are now in work. This is a very credible result in comparison to other national programmes.

TMC deliver an accredited training programme focussed on both hard and soft skills highly valued by employers. People who face barriers to employment – low self-esteem, isolation, health problems, and low levels of social capital – are often prevented by the same barriers from participating in other activities, including volunteering. TMC and Volition have the experience to support volunteers overcome such barriers and successfully progress towards work. For 50% of volunteers this is the first accredited qualification ever received.

TMC training facilitates employer engagement as much as possible and the Cathedral brand maximises this opportunity. This includes careers talks, site visits, training sessions and mock interviews. The format has a lasting benefit on both candidates and employers. Volition volunteers connect with employers and gain awareness of industry and entry requirements. Employers report

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