History of Manchester Event Volunteers
The spectacular success of the hosting of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester focused interest in volunteering in the city and across the region. Of the 22,346 people who applied to be a volunteer at the Games, approximately 10,500 of these were successful. A high percentage of those were based in the North West.
In October 2002 the Post Games Volunteer Project (PGVP) contacted all of those who lived in the North West and asked whether they were interested in continuing to volunteer for other events. The response was very positive and the project was developed to harness the energy and commitment of Games volunteers and others to become involved with new volunteering opportunities.
One of the PGVP's aims was to use volunteering as a method of engaging those outside the labour market in order to (re)connect them to employment and training opportunities.
What has been achieved since the Games?
Since the Commonwealth Games, the Post Games Volunteer Project has registered over 3200 people onto its database and this resource is growing as individuals not connected with the Games continually ask to be included. An interest in volunteering was one of the many successful legacies left to the region and since 2002 Volunteers have supported more than 250 community, regional and national sporting and non sporting events including:Manchester Irish Festival
The Great Manchester Run 2003 –2005
Moston Hall Archaeological Dig
The European Blind Football Championships
The World Cycle Speedway Championships
Partially Sighted World Football Champs 2004
Manchester Pride 2004
London Triathlon 2005
Manchester Cow Parade
UEFA Cup Final, Old Trafford 2003
Greater Manchester Youth Games
Salford Triathlon 2003 - 2005
Stand Up Comedy Festival 2003
World Paralympics 2005
Women's Euro 2005
A full list of events can be found at www.mev.org.uk
Links have also been formed with organisations which offer longer-term opportunities. These include national charities such as the British Red Cross and Volunteer Reading Help, alongside North West based concerns like St. Anne's Hospice, Nightstop, The Step Up Project and Bolton Community Transport.
However the scope is not limited to charitable organisations. For example, since the programme's inception, we have worked with hundreds of event organisers and have encouraged volunteers to become Special Constables, help out in the Royal Exchange Theatre's Costume Hire department and even take part in the archiving of press cuttings from the Commonwealth Games at the city's Central Library.
In August 2005 the service was re-branded and evolved into Manchester Event Volunteers (M.E.V.), part of Manchester City Council's Economic Development Unit. With MEV, volunteering is about personal choice and volunteers can get involved with events which interest them most. They can also take part in a range of training opportunities with local colleges, leading to further qualifications and, if needed, help with finding a job!
The team produces a monthly newsletter which is distributed to over 2000 volunteers and event organizers either by post or via e-mail. This newsletter outlines current volunteering opportunities and reports back on completed volunteering events.
A brand new website has also been set up (www.mev.org.uk) to supplement the newsletter and reach out to a wider audience. Volunteers can access the site, register for the service and for events, chat to each other in the forums, upload their event photos, download documents, check out the latest news, search for jobs / advice and provide feedback.
If you wish to volunteer or are an event organiser in need of volunteer assistance, please visit us at www.mev.org.uk or call 0161 234 1530