What is your role at MASH and what does it entail?
I’m the Volunteer Coordinator at MASH. I recruit, train and retain volunteers for the organisation. I manage the shift rotas for our drop-in and outreach, ensuring that there is enough cover on hand at all times to provide the best response possible for women who need support.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is simply seeing so many people give their time to help others. Altruism is now more important than ever and I am lucky to work alongside some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I also get a buzz from seeing people develop, witnessing people who have never done anything like this before not only meet the challenge but surpass their own expectations.
Tell us a bit about the MASH volunteer team and what they do at MASH
The MASH volunteer team are a fantastic group of caring individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who all share the same desire to help others.
MASH’s volunteer team help out in our drop-in by providing a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. That can include anything from making a brew to providing clean needles. They are proactive in offering options for service users to utilise the range of services on offer at MASH. Staff are alongside volunteers on every drop-in shift, alongside our team of experienced volunteers. Our drop-in volunteers’ warm welcome can often be a port in a storm for service users and their commitment never goes unnoticed.
MASH’s Outreach volunteers are out from 8 ‘til Midnight on our Mobile Drop-In van, offering close support for women on the streets. As part of a small team alongside a member of staff and interpreter, outreach volunteers offer support in a private environment, contributing to an immediate reactive response for anyone looking for a moment away from the street.
We are constantly updating our volunteer roles to adapt to the needs of vulnerable women across the city and with more challenges ahead in 2019 and beyond our volunteers continue to be an integral part of the MASH team.
What advice do you have for people thinking about volunteering?
Get stuck in! Be open and honest with yourself about why you want to be involved, make sure you can give time regularly and find the right role for you. Be willing to listen, stay open minded and ready to be challenged. Above all else, keep your sense of humour.
How can people sign up to become a volunteer at MASH?
You can apply online at www.mash.org.uk/get-involved or call me on 0161 273 4555, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org We take applications for our waiting list all year round and contact those on the list as soon as shifts become available which match their skillset and availability. A full induction and training is provided including a chance to learn on the job alongside staff and experienced volunteers.
Anything else you’d like to say…?
MASH volunteers make an invaluable difference to the lives of vulnerable women in Manchester. Through their dedication and generosity MASH’s volunteers literally keep the doors open for some of the city’s most vulnerable people, their commitment is a constant lifeline for service users and is an immense source of pride the organisation and myself in particular.