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Manchester Mind wins Volunteer of the Year – Be Proud Awards 2018.

Winning the award came as a great surprise and I was really pleased for the whole team. It was nice to be recognised for something I feel privileged to be part of. A humbling experience. Craig

Manchester Mind’s Give Help, Get Help Peer Support Group, are thrilled to have won Volunteer of the Year (Group) at the Be Proud Awards 2018. We were invited to a glittering gala dinner and award ceremony, held at the beautiful Midland Hotel last Friday (16 November).

There are three Give Help, Get Help  groups working in north and central Manchester, all of which are led by Manchester Mind volunteers. These volunteers have lived experience of mental health problems and support attendees during weekly support sessions. These sessions offer a safe place to share, understand and give mutual support to people who are struggling with mental health problems, such as anxiety and isolation.

Over the past two years our volunteers’ vital work has supported 90 people to increase their awareness of mental health. They have successfully demonstrated the powerful impact that listening respectfully and without judgement has on alleviating the cycle of loneliness and isolation. The main outcome of this has been to give people hope for the future, by improving wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.

The group recently worked with Manchester Art Gallery on developing an exhibition, to explore the relationship between art, positive mental health and wellbeing.

The benefit to the volunteers has also been significant with some of them now undertaking additional volunteer roles in other organisations and some have moved into paid work.

I am super proud of the whole Give Help, Get Help team at Manchester Mind. Each volunteer and service user is unique and brave. Receiving this award is incredible and gives recognition for all that we are doing. This gives me hope that if we all keep trying to knock down the stigma surrounding mental health and start talking, we can make change. On behalf of Give Help, Get Help thank you. Jennifer

The Manchester Be Proud Awards are a chance to celebrate the volunteers and unsung heroes who work hard to make ‘Our Manchester’ so great. Hosted by Manchester City Council these awards recognise the groups and individuals that make a big difference in our communities and help to make Manchester the thriving, friendly and buzzing city it is. Be Proud is a chance to say a big “thank you” and celebrate this work.

Congratulations to all the other winners. It was great to hear so many inspiring stories of community initiatives and to be able to celebrate with you all.

The Be Proud Award ceremony made me feel like a celebrity. I was very pleased to receive the award on behalf of all the Give Help, Get Help volunteers and service users, alongside the whole team at Manchester Mind. Everyone’s hard work has made this achievement possible. The peer support work we do is very important and makes a real difference to our service users lives. They look forward to coming to the group each week, it gives them a focus. Manjeet