Manchester is a city with a hearty community spirit. Each month, it is brimming with events that raise awareness and money for charities, NGO’s, schools and local communities. However, there are individuals, businesses and organisations sprawling through the city that are doing their part to improve livelihoods of Manchester’s residents and future prospects of the city every single day. If you want to do your part too, whether it’s by raising money for charities or volunteering in your local community, here’s how you can get involved.

Where to go: Volunteer Centre Manchester

Volunteer Centre Manchester provides information, support and training to Manchester residents who want to volunteer and to organisations who want to work with volunteers. The organisation brings together diverse opportunities for citizens of Manchester to voluntary, community and non-profit organisations in the city and beyond. To get involved, you can register with Volunteer Centre Manchester and participate in a group induction that will give you an introduction to volunteering and how to find and apply for opportunities that best fit your interests.

Areas of focus

Education – There is an attainment gap between those educated in wealthy areas and those educated in poor areas. By offering tutoring and extra support to disadvantaged children, you can help close that attainment gap and allow every child receive equal opportunities. Tutoring is also extremely beneficial to children with learning disabilities who require a more personalised and assisted learning environment.

Homelessness – This continues to be a growing problem throughout the UK – since 2010, homelessness has risen 165% according to The Homelessness Monitor – but with the help of volunteers, charities and organisations can help house and feed the homeless and pull them out of poverty. It is also important to tackle homelessness at the source and provide assistance to groups who are at risk.

Community development – Community development encourages people to come together to make positive changes to their community. It allows people to support one another and pool their assets together to help improve the quality of life for a large number of people. Poorer communities can improve their access to health, wellbeing, wealth and much more by being supportive and implementing tools to assist those in need.

Animal welfare – This is the protection and improvement of the quality of life for animals. Many domesticated animals such as cats and dogs don’t have a loving home, so it is the duty of humans to ensure they are rehomed or taken care of. Animal welfare also involves rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wild animals that have been mistreated or are of ill health and cannot recover naturally.

Our top pick: Northmoor Community Association

Northmoor Community Association (NCA) is an independent charity that was set up in 2000 by the Longsight community of Manchester. Its two parts – the community centre and social enterprise community laundrette – are run with the intent of relieving poverty, promoting health and wellbeing, advancing skills and learning, and enhancing the quality of life for its users.

Volunteers are at the heart of NCA and are involved in the delivery of all its services. NCA require around 30 volunteers in total, each of which volunteers in the role where they can bring their own ideas and experience to bring to the table.

How you can get involved:

Northmoor Community Diner – Cook, bake, serve or clean at NCA’s dining club, which serves food to homeless and disadvantaged people on a pay-what-you-like basis.

Next Step skills development project – Offer your expertise at this free drop-in session for people aged 16-plus who want to learn a skill, enhance their CV or receive talking therapy.

Macmillan Solutions project – Offer practical assistance like shopping and gardening or emotional support and companionship to people affected by cancer.

Youth Can Do homework club –Help run NCA’s homework club for eight to 16 year-olds who require a safe, nurturing and quiet space to do homework and take part in extracurricular projects.

If you aren’t sure which volunteering role is for you, NCA offer taster sessions of each role (except for the community diner role) so you don’t have to decide straight away and if you still can’t decide between two of the roles, you can do both!