World Values Day: Thursday 20 October 2022
World Values Day is an annual campaign to increase the awareness and practice of values globally. In a world that can at times feel divided, values help to unite us. They are what matter most to us, to motivate and guide us in all we do.
At Manchester Mind, we are proud of our values of openness, belonging, strength and collaboration. We work hard to make sure these values underpin all that we do.
The theme of this year’s World Values Day is Values for Community.
Community is at the core of everything we do at Manchester Mind, and our values deeply resonate with the Manchester Volunteer Advice Partnership (MVAP). MVAP also has its own set of beliefs and values, so we wanted to focus on those and share some stories from those who are involved with the project.
MVAP offers free training to Manchester residents who want to volunteer in advice services. It celebrates the potential of every individual, and the resourcefulness of communities. Sam and Maury share how involvement in the scheme has improved their confidence and feeling of belonging, whilst developing important advice skills.
But first a word from Dawn, our MVAP Training and Development Coordinator
“I look back to the start of MVAP in 2013 and where we are today and, although there have been challenges at times I’m impressed by how we have maintained core beliefs; that the volunteer opportunities should be accessible, that volunteers should always be carrying out roles that ensure their development and that volunteers should be involved in the ongoing development of the project.
Each of the MVAP partners work differently and often have different priorities, but as we are a partnership it has been important that we work together to balance these by maintaining our beliefs.
After the first MVAP we had a values workshop and the outcomes reinforced those core beliefs:
- Collaborative Communities – appreciating and embracing variety thereby harnessing collective resourcefulness
- Sharing – generously giving skills, knowledge and energy according to capacity and opportunity to pursue our shared purpose
- Trust – working in ways that enable confidence in our partnership to be high
Throughout the project we monitor volunteer’s experiences. One of the things we ask is whether they feel a part of the community. At the start I didn’t know how MVAP could do this and so the resulting comments were really interesting. Some said meeting other volunteer’s and people from different backgrounds gave them that sense of community, others having this new group of people who have a shared interest and aim (their MVAP community!) and other’s felt that finding out how the system works gave them an increased sense of belonging. The variety of responses has shown the very personal interpretation of community (possibly why I didn’t know how MVAP could do this!)
For me there has also been a new sense of community, because I’m working with people from different backgrounds who I’ve lived among but haven’t known. Now I do understand how MVAP has this impact.”