Winners Again!

6th October 2017 |

Winners of the Spirit of Manchester Awards 2017: Volunteer involving organisation of the year (supported by University of Manchester)

What an amazing night for Future Directions CIC at the Spirit of Manchester Awards last night at The Sheridan Suite, orgainsed by Manchester Community Central.

This was the fifth year of the awards and to even be shortlisted was an accolade in itself. The awards recognise different examples of community spirit and the fabulous work going on in the voluntary sector.   The idea is to raise the profile of volunteers amongst the general public and encourage others to be an active citizen and take pleasure in local giving.

We were shortlisted by being able to show how we promote and retain volunteers and volunteering within our orgainsation. We had to give evidence of how our volunteers feel a true part of our organisation and how we promote volunteering through our core values. For us at Future Directions CIC our values are everything which our volunteers are about. Without our volunteers some of the people we support wouldn't have the fulfilled life they have. They are an integral part of our team.

During the first years of Future Directions CIC coming about, volunteering was limited and ad-hoc, there was no dedication resource to support volunteers within their role. Today it couldn't be more different, we now have a Volunteer Coordinator who has developed a volunteering strategy and raised the profile of volunteering within the whole organisation. There is now a clear vision for volunteering and we all within the organisation understand the value they bring. Our volunteers are now embedded within the organisation and are included in everything we do. We provide comprehensive induction and also ongoing support and training. We have introduced a Volunteer of the Year Award at our annual awards ceremony and in June of this year, all of our volunteers attended a 'thank you' event to show how much we value their support. 

The roles we have at Future Directions for our volunteers are diverse and flexible in order to meet the needs of both our organisation and the volunteer themselves. An example of this, one of our volunteers meets up with a person we support to play a weekly game of chess, he was sick of beating staff so we needed to find him somebody better to play with. Then we have a lady who visits another of the people we support daily, offering friendship, company and trips to local places they both enjoy visiting.  Another strong strand of volunteering here at Future Directions is our development of volunteering opportunities for people we support as well, e.g  John volunteers at a local café.  This gives him opportunity to build self-esteem, develop new social networks and skills that can lead to paid employment.  We want the people we support to see the worth of being part of their community in which they live.

Without our volunteers the lives of people we support would not be as rich and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for everything they do. 

 

For more information please visit www.futuredirectionscic.co.uk

 

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