Volition, the volunteer programme for Manchester and Liverpool Cathedrals is celebrating winning the coveted prize for Innovation at the national ERSA employability awards.
The ERSA Employability Awards, now in their third year, celebrate and champion the exceptional people and organisations working across the employment support sector to help jobseekers in their journey toward employment, including specialist employment support organisations, personal advisors, employers and jobseekers themselves.
With entries from charities, private companies, housing associations, social enterprises and local authorities amongst others, Volition held off major competition in the “Innovation” category to scoop the award. Other entries included Business in the community’s Ban the Box campaign and MyGo Youth Employment Services.
Volition is a new charity, created out of a pilot programme at Manchester Cathedral four years ago in partnership with local employers, to test whether a combination of volunteering, coaching and training can achieve employment outcomes.
The programme has gone from strength to strength. We launched our programme in November and have already seen huge numbers volunteering at the cathedral and from that gaining useful employment. Many other cathedrals in the UK have now expressed interest to Volition. Chester is coming on board in the autumn of 2015 and other Cathedrals are expected to follow.
Lauren Bailey-Rhodes, Head of Programmes for Volition and winner of an ERSA award two years ago for Advisor of the Year, said:
"We're absolutely thrilled to win the Innovation Award. We were up against some stiff competition from some well-established providers in the employability sector, with great programmes. Our team work hard to prove there is another way to support people into work, not least changing attitudes of jobseekers themselves, who can be disillusioned with the system. Winning this National award feels like we can now position ourselves as a beacon of good practice, it just proves that small really can be beautiful.”
The Dean, The Very Revd Pete Wilcox said "It’s an extraordinary achievement for Volition to capture this award and Liverpool Cathedral is delighted to played it’s part in this success story. Alongside all our other volunteers, our volition programme participants make an extremely significant contribution to the life and mission of our Cathedral and I am delighted that their work has been recognised. But key to this success has been the dedication of the Volition staff team, in Manchester and in Liverpool and we celebrate with them."