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. […]Read More
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 […]Read More
A short video showcasing Manchester Cathedral Bees by Adam York Gregory Manchester Cathedral Bees from Adam York Gregory on Vimeo. Bee Hive Cameras 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. Heavenly […]Read More
Martin is a middle-aged Irish man. He’d worked mostly in UK theatre for the past 25 years, primarily as an actor. As he aged he wished to switch careers to one with ongoing employment in one location as opposed to short-term contracts all over the country.
He found his lack of references (some theatre companies exist only for the duration of the project) and lack of long-term or continuous employment history made him an unlikely candidate for many employers.
He took what work he could but found many companies to be highly unethical. He was forced to work unsociable hours at low rates of pay, often in uncomfortable or even unsafe conditions. He tried to get training as an administrator but found virtually no opportunities to do so.
In these circumstances, it is easy to lose any social life one has due to lack of funds for even the most basic requirements such as travel on public transport. This can often lead to isolation and depression. Over time, this can lead to general apathy and a reduction in personal hygiene and social skills resulting in the unemployed becoming reclusive outcasts. Martin experienced all this himself. Happily, he made the decision to turn it around and forced himself to be presentable and polite and pursue any employment opportunities.
When referred to a Volition work skills course based at Manchester Cathedral Visitors Centre he did not expect it to be any different to a variety of other such courses suggested by the Job Centre which he had attended at various times over the past 25 years. He expected it would be well-intentioned but under-funded, poorly organised and ultimately ineffective.
Martin found the Volition course to be very welcoming, safe, helpful and supportive. Volition seemed to realise what it was like to be unemployed not just financially but also psychologically. He was intrigued by the prospect of doing voluntary work with a company with a view to gaining relevant experience and a good work reference. Having no job can leave one with a sense of futility and worthlessness – any active job role can help restore that self-confidence and self-worth.
Martin requested administrative work experience but found it to be almost impossible to find. So, he tried work experience working Front-of-House for Victoria Warehouse’s conference suites at Manchester Cathedral Visitors Centre. He enjoyed it and felt he might have found an employer he would wish to work for. After a month of volunteering he sent a speculative letter to Victoria Warehouse with his CV. He had met some of their staff whilst volunteering and had made a good impression. Shortly afterward they invited him to interview for a night receptionist role at the Victoria Warehouse hotel in Old Trafford.
Martin is now in training at Victoria Warehouse hotel and is on a full-time contract. He finds his new role both challenging and rewarding.
Martin is also aware that he would not be in this position without the assistance of Volition.