Manningham Housing Association (MHA) has called on the Bradford and Keighley community to get involved in its new volunteer scheme which is about to launch.
The Xperience Volunteering Project (XVP) will initially run on a trial basis for six months with the objective of attracting 20 local people to fill voluntary roles with employers across the district, including MHA itself.
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.
XVP seeks to boost the employability and skills levels of volunteers, whilst delivering productivity benefits to partners through the provision of additional staff.
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.
The project was devised by MHA Community Partnerships and Investment Manager Nas Hussain, following consultation with residents, potential volunteers and service providers.
He said he was proud that XVP had been driven by local people and believed it would bring tangible benefits for all involved.
“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.
“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 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.
“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 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.”