Bradford’s Manningham Housing calls on community to support volunteer scheme

Lee Bloomfield and Nas Hussain (Demo)

A housing association in West Yorkshire is calling on the local community to get involved with its new volunteer scheme.

Manningham Housing Association (MHA), which operates across Bradford and Keighley, is shortly to launch its Xperience Volunteering Project (XVP) on a six-month trial basis. It is aiming to attract 20 local people to fill voluntary roles with employers across the metropolitan district, including with MHA.

The association is also inviting companies, public sector bodies and third sector organisations to become partners in the scheme by offering volunteer posts, which require between two and 20 hours per week.

Registration and induction of the chosen volunteers will be carried out by MHA staff, with the association also making a “modest” daily payment available to cover expenses such as travel.

XVP is the brainchild of MHA’s community partnerships and investment manager, Nas Hussain. He developed the idea following consultation with residents, potential volunteers, and service providers.

The scheme is looking to boost the employability and skills levels of volunteers, MHA says, while delivering productivity benefits to partners through the provision of additional staff.

“More than three million people regularly volunteer in countless different roles across the country, resulting in a social return estimated at between £23 billion and £57 billion per year,” Hussain said.

“Volunteers are able to develop their workplace skills, broaden their social network and make a positive contribution to community wellbeing.

“Meanwhile, employers gain new, highly-motivated staff who want to do well. Many will have the potential and desire to stay on a remunerated basis, negating the need for what can be an expensive and laborious recruitment process.

“Bradford and Keighley have no shortage of people simply requiring the opportunity to show what they can do. The Xperience Volunteering Project can be their chance to shine.”

Lee Bloomfield, MHA’s chief executive, said the scheme would link in with the association’s overarching commitment to engage with the local community.

“The level of untapped potential I see across Bradford district is immense, particularly amongst young people,” he added.

“Through XVP, Manningham Housing Association has already begun the process of creating workplace opportunities for volunteers in our head office in the city centre and is liaising with partner organisations to create several more.

“But we want to encourage new partners to join us in this effort and hope that many will do so, either as part of the pilot project or for what we hope will follow after evaluation of the initial outcomes.

“I invite willing partners and volunteers to get in touch, get involved in XVP and let’s do something rewarding together.”

Barrington Billings, MHA’s chair, added: “We have always focused on much more than providing high quality homes for our tenants. MHA wants to improve local neighbourhoods and the lives of those who live in them.

“This scheme forms an important part of our community investment strategy and enables the association to take a lead once again in our determination to become a key place-shaper in our neighbourhoods.

“I have met so many individuals in Bradford and Keighley who want to improve themselves whilst benefitting the wider community. The Xperience Volunteering Project can be a vehicle to deliver those objectives.”


Main Image: Lee Bloomfield (left), MHA’s chief executive, with Nas Hussain, the organisation’s community partnerships and investment manager


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