Cafe & Office Support
Many years ago I heard about the Prison Fellowship, and attended many meetings at the Methodist Central Hall, along with friends from the Church I attend. This gave me a yearning to get involved in some way, but as I worked full time I couldn’t get involved.
In 2014 after working in the NHS for nearly 26 years, I felt that the lord was telling me to take early retirement, and work for him. So I thought long and hard about what I would do as I knew I couldn’t stay at home all day every day, so I decided that I would volunteer at GMCC. So in January 2016 I started to volunteer, initially I only wanted to work Tuesday and Wednesday. I now work Monday-Thursday. I have various roles, and enjoy each of those roles. I have been taken very much out of my comfort zone. I enjoy being able to chat and getting to know the clients and where possible lend a listening ear, to those that just need to chat to someone who isn’t going to judge them.
I believe there is much work to be done in GMCC, and through the hard work of both the staff and volunteers this will be achieved, there has been many changes in the 2 and a half years I have been here, and it is all for the good of the clients and those who have had a difficult life.
MMU Student work Placement
I came to GMCC looking for academic work experience and I found the organisation to be very interesting in the sense of their purpose and desire to help ex-offenders. Having known I had an interest in the process of reducing re-offending and providing support to ex-offenders, I knew this would be very beneficial and worthwhile. I hadn’t had any expectations of what my volunteering role would be however, it has been very valuable and it is something that will benefit me greatly in the future. The one thing that I will take away from this role is that it has confirmed that I would definitely like to work within this work sector in the future. I have developed a clear understanding of how important support and guidance is for ex-offenders and this has only consolidated my interest and enjoyment in the workplace. The overall experience has already been very valuable in the sense that I have witnessed the success stories, the support and also, how important GMCCs work is to the ex-offenders. I have really enjoyed the overall experience, and I feel as if I have accomplished something by having an input into the organisation. The working environment is very welcoming and friendly, and I feel like this has enhanced my enjoyment of working for the company. One further point is that I know for certain that this volunteering role will have a profound effect on my future career.
I came to Volunteer as a Mentor/Befriender at GMCC as an extension to what I was already doing in HMP Manchester as a Christian member of the Prison Chaplaincy Team. I can't say that I have been helped in any way because that wasn't my reason for being here. My purpose was to be helpful to any ex-offenders who came into the Cafe and particularly any who had been attending my Bible Studies inside the Prison. It has been my delight to see several men come in bringing their wife/family to introduce them and an even greater joy to witness people's progress as they find work, places to live and move on in life.
I had been out of work for some time taking care of my children. I came to help out at GMCC Café; Steve was training me in the kitchen to do baking, temperatures, correct procedures on various things. It has been very helpful to me working here and he has given me confidence back alongside my co-workers being able to speak to people with a little more confidence. I also successfully completed the level 1 Award in Skills for Hospitality & Catering which had led to a few interviews.
I recently started work thanks to the help and support from the team and the Volunteer Coordinator. I really enjoy the experience at GMCC and even though I work now I still continue to Volunteer once a week in the kitchen.
I was a volunteer in the kitchen at Greater Manchester Community Chaplaincy with Steve. He did my training and showed me the ropes. I then went for a job with Manchester City Council which I got in catering. If it wasn’t for Steve and staff who helped me I would not be where I am today. I’ve been for loads of jobs and not got anywhere. Got this one because of Steve!! So thank you to all staff and Café Central.
I first came to GMCC to learn IT skills and after chatting and getting to know the staff, I asked if I could volunteer in the Kitchen. Steve did my training with me and showed me all I needed to know. I have recently started full time paid work after Steve recommended me to the manager. I really believe that the time and experience gained from GMCC really helped. Special thanks to Arthur and Marlene who were always really supportive and encouraging. I miss all the team and still call in several days a week before I start work to see everyone.
Diane receiving her Certificate of Recognition from Community Chaplaincy Association, for completion of one year’s service, just before leaving to start her new job.