The contribution of Manchester’s army of volunteers is being highlighted and celebrated during this year’s Volunteers’ Week.
Manchester volunteers are busy building their skills and boosting their CVs by supporting everything from major sporting events to youth work to projects within libraries - and throughout Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), free open events are happening across the city for people who want to get involved .
Mohamed Albendago started visiting Central Library in 2014, to use the computers to keep in touch with family overseas. Members of staff soon got to know Mohamed and realised that he had a natural gift for helping.
When staff saw Mohamed helping a library user who was struggling to use a computer and were impressed by his patience and skill, they asked if he had considered volunteering.
Mohamed soon started assisting at the library’s weekly IT drop-in sessions and proved to be a natural, open to helping people of all backgrounds and ages. After receiving praise and thanks from those attending the drop-in sessions, Mohamed successfully applied for a job at Central Library and is now a permanent member of the team.
Mohamed said: “I am very happy to have this job at Central Library and would like to thank the staff for their support and kindness and for believing in me.”
Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “Mohamed’s inspiring story shows how volunteering can act as a real springboard for those who are aiming to gain experience and build their confidence, while taking part in activities they enjoy.
“With so many opportunities to take part in a wide range of projects across Manchester, Volunteers’ Week is the perfect time to learn more about how you can get involved.”
On this year’s National Volunteer Recognition Day, more than 50 volunteers from the 2002 Commonwealth Games attended a free lunch at Manchester Regional Arena to share their stories and experiences from 2002, as part of the Commonwealth Big Lunches initiative. Since the 2002 Games - which consolidated Manchester’s global reputation as a leading city for sport and helped the city to establish one of the largest volunteer programmes in the UK - Manchester has built up a register of nearly 6,000 sports volunteers. Anyone who is keen to join in should visit www.MCRVIP.com, to find out about the many opportunities on offer.
Events for people who want to learn more about volunteering are being held at Manchester venues including Central Library, the Whitworth art gallery and the National Football Museum during Volunteers’ Week.
For more information, visit www.manchestercommunitycentral.org/volunteers-week.