“Following graduation, I wanted to work in a role that was community-focused but everywhere I was applying to would say the same thing - I had great qualifications but I lacked real work experience. This was a big challenge for me, as I had invested a lot of time and effort into my studies and I wanted to put my knowledge into action. That’s when I decided to visit the One Future team and find out more about the opportunities available at One Manchester.
“Patrick, an Employment Adviser at East Hub, suggested that I met with Katie, the Volunteer Coordinator. When I explained what I wanted to achieve, I felt Katie listened and really understood my goals. She had just met with Manchester Settlement who were specifically looking for Supported Housing Mentor volunteers, which related really well to the area of work I wanted. Within a few weeks I had attended an interview and was taken on as a volunteer. This was the start of my journey into working in the housing sector.”
Grace’s confidence increased and this led her to think about how to progress her career prospects even further, so she contacted the Work Placement and Volunteering Manager;
“Sarah responded to me quickly and promised to be in touch if anything suitable came up, and sure enough it did. I was invited for an interview and was successful in gaining an eight-week placement working in the Community Support and Wellbeing team.”
Grace experienced a variety of duties, working directly with tenants and particularly enjoyed visiting projects like the Community Grocers to see the positive impact on the community;
“It showed how ordinary people in the community could join together to get involved in a positive project where they could always look out for one another.
"During my placement, I saw that One Manchester was far more than just a housing association offering accommodation. There was a shared work ethos amongst staff of dedication and hard work to achieve the best outcome for customers. I was always made to feel welcome, learning new things each day and was regularly supported with mid-placement reviews and work coaching to prepare for the end of placement.”
Following the work placement, the future is looking bright and Grace couldn’t be happier with the support she received at One Manchester;
“I am now working in a full-time role as Housing Officer at Creative Support. My advice to others is that you should take a chance - money will be tight but the work experience is so worth it. Take time to find an organisation that fits your values - giving up your time to support something needs to resonate with you and come from the heart. I think I have found a work sector that fits for me and I look forward to progressing to develop my skills and my career. Who knows, one day I could be the CEO of One Manchester!”
For more information on volunteering, please contact Katie McGill on 0161 227 1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I was invited for an interview and was successful in gaining an eight-week placement working in the Community Support and Wellbeing team"