This is the most recent evaluation of our Manchester Volunteer Advice Partnership (MVAP). It represents a visual representation of what has been an innovative and hugely beneficial partnership. MVAP came about as many of the best partnerships do through a real desire to do something different and through shared values. All the partners – ourselves, Cheetham Hill Advice Centre, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, Manchester Refugee Support Network and Centrepoint Manchester believed in the transformational power of information and advice.
We all recognised a gap in working with volunteers around advice and combined our experiences and skills to develop a rich volunteering project. Volunteers were recruited and trained centrally then went to their preferred partner, where ongoing support was provided. The lottery funding has enabled the partners to work things out, to involve volunteers, to improve and develop.
The stories held in this evaluation are so moving, all of them emphasise the value of the project not just in delivering amazing advice outcomes but it has been about developing communities and enabling people to feel part of their communities – these are powerful stories and ones that we are all immensely proud of. It is also a successful account of how much more we can do by working collaboratively and sharing our skills and talents.