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 Honey produced by our […]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
What a difference a year makes! As I wander through the silence of the Cathedral, making my way to the spiral staircase that will take me to the roof, I am reminded that only a year ago we were celebrating Manchester City’s Premier League title win. The Cathedral was bustling with people and equipment the […]Read More
We started 2021 still in the grip of the global pandemic with Covid-19. Provision started up in April with our first intake, however, with the constant up and down with the pandemic, recruiting volunteers to attend open days was very problematic.
The data contained within this annual report is based on a reduced intake during 2021 of 36 volunteers, two more than in 2020. Demographics continued to reflect many historical barriers to employment and learning, with 50% of volunteers unemployed for over 3 years (33% over 5 years) and 92% from households with no one in paid work.
Despite organising good quality online content early and during the pandemic, referrals and uptake to Volition remained low for remote access. This highlights the very positive need for face-to-face delivery and support in this context. This may also be an indication of a broader digital skills gap and deepening inequalities our candidates face in the wake of the pandemic.
Mental and physical health issues were widely evident, with 67% disclosing mental health concerns and 53% a physical health issue. July 2021 saw the main return to face-to-face delivery, and we were able to resume the vital social and emotional support to our volunteers, after months of being deprived of physical learning and work experiences.
Employability is not the same as specific qualifications and the generic transferable skills and experiences that Volition offers are designed to facilitate progression to paid employment through increasing social interaction, personal confidence and intrinsic motivation.
I am pleased to announce that 42% of the 2021 cohort achieved paid work during the year, with a further 30% still accessing volunteering at Manchester Cathedral today. Reflecting on the social and emotional starting points of many volunteers, these outcomes are worth celebrating loudly.
The other major highlight of the year for Volition was the visit of HM The Queen to Manchester Cathedral to mark the 600th Anniversary of the Collegiate Church. I must take this opportunity to thank all the Volition staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to make sure the gardens of the cathedral were fit for the Royal visit and to Maria our gardener and Cath our beekeeper came together with a group of volunteers to transform the grounds. They both worked very hard to create a bee feature for the Queen. You will be able to read more on this in the other sections of the report.