Cathedral volunteer programme wins national award

20th May 2013

Manchester Cathedral’s Volunteer Programme Manager, Lauren Bailey-Rhodes, pictured with at the award ceremony with the Cathedral’s Director of Fundraising and Development, won the Adviser of the Year award at the Employment Related Services Association. Lauren was nominated by Manchester Cathedral and Tracy Fishwick, Associate Director of Inclusion North West.
Lauren has designed, launched and is successfully running a new volunteer programme at Manchester Cathedral.  The Cathedral Volunteer Programme launched in April 2012 in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and aims at linking unemployed people with jobs through exploring their heritage and gaining new skills through volunteering.  The programme is supported by a number of high profile employers in the city such as Hilton Hotels, Harvey Nichols, Manchester Arndale, Virgin Money and Crowne Plaza Hotel, Manchester City Centre. Employers offer guaranteed interviews to job-ready volunteers, interview workshops, suit donations and careers talks.
The Very Reverend Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester, said:
‘I am very proud of Lauren Bailey-Rhodes and her achievements as our Volunteer Programme Manager and thrilled that she was awarded the prize for Advisor of the Year at the ERSA awards in London on Monday!  Lauren is dedicated to her work and those who come into the programme and she is clearly making a huge difference in their lives.  Lauren is well supported by the Cathedral staff and our business partners around the city.  I want to congratulate Lauren on receiving this award and ask you to continue to support her as together we seek to enable people to get into employment.’
Anthony O’Connor, Director of Fundraising and Development at Manchester Cathedral, said:
‘I am delighted that Lauren has been recognised in such a wonderful way in achieving this outstanding award.  While our Volunteer Programme is not part of the Work Programme, it has moved over 60% of the volunteers into employment.  This gives me great confidence in the future and how other cathedrals’ and the wider church could play a vital role in serving the needs of our communities.  I would also like to express my thanks and gratitude for the ERSA acknowledging this programme.’
The awards, sponsored by Interserve Working Futures, attracted nearly 170 entries from across the UK.  The entries were judged by Sarah Neville from the Financial Times, Matthew Oakley from Policy Exchange, and Julia Sweeney from the Department for Work & Pensions.