The Minister for Civil Society, the Hon Nick Hurd MP, visited the unique back to work volunteer programme run by Manchester Cathedral on Tuesday 1 October.
Launched in April 2012 in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, the programme has supported over 100 job seeking residents from some of the most deprived areas of Greater Manchester with over 60% of the participants moving into paid employment. This is the first programme of its kind to be run from a cathedral in the UK and much of its success can be attributed to the support received from high profile employers in the city who guarantee interviews to job ready volunteers.
The Dean of Manchester says:
“Jobcentre Plus said that the Volunteer Programme at Manchester Cathedral is unique because in addition to being a place of prayer and worship, the Cathedral also provides opportunities for training and mentoring with excellent support structures as well as great opportunities for volunteering. This has contributed to the huge success of this programme which offers opportunities in a supportive, spiritual, friendly and welcoming environment. I am very pleased that Nick Hurd MP has visited to see for himself how cathedrals are able to make a difference in our society”.
Volunteer Programme Manager Lauren Bailey-Rhodes says:
“We were delighted to welcome the minister to see our programme. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time, not only moving volunteers into employment but also gaining new qualifications and most importantly building their confidence. It would be fantastic if we could replicate our programme and support even more people back to work”.