AS National Volunteers' Week continues, Greater
Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has pledged its support
for a county-wide partnership that aims to enhance and improve
volunteering opportunities for local people.
There are currently more than 400 volunteers giving up their
free time to assist GMFRS and help improve the lives of people of
The Service has signed the 'Vision for Volunteering in Greater
Manchester' which aims to ensure that volunteering remains at the
heart of life in the county and that more and more people from a
diverse of background become volunteers.
The Vision, which is being launched by the Volunteering Greater
Manchester (VGM) partnership, is about ensuring volunteering is a
matter of free choice, inclusive and accessible, providing good
quality and meaningful opportunities, and that recognition is given
for the contribution volunteers make.
It's also about ensuring that organisations understand the value
of volunteer involvement and that managing and supporting
volunteers is seen as an important and key role within the
In signing the Vision, GMFRS is committing to create easier
access to volunteering for all, increase the diversity of
volunteers, share and disseminate best practice in volunteer
management, enable collaboration, partnership and strategic
approaches to volunteering and encourage better resourcing of
Since the Service's volunteering programme started in 2008
volunteers have donated almost 185,300 hours of their own time to
help GMFRS - which smashed the original target set in 2011 of
reaching 100,000 hours by April 2014.
GMFRS' Service Support Prevention Manager,
Stuart Millington, said: "At GMFRS we have around
450 volunteers who give up their time to help us support the
"They help us in many areas, including post-incident clean ups,
cycle patrols, cadet instructors and general volunteer tasks such
as helping out at events.
"Signing up to the VGM Vision for Volunteering shows our
commitment to enhancing volunteering opportunities and one of the
main aims is to work in partnership with other organisations to
increase, support and encourage volunteering best practice."
Rod Homes, who has been a GMFRS volunteer for four years, said:
"I really enjoy delivering fire safety advice to children as
believe that if we catch their attention early on in life the
valuable advice will stay with them.
"Volunteering at GMFRS gives you the chance to do things no
other volunteering opportunity does. You work alongside fire crews
and the training is brilliant - including first aid studying for
qualifications that can help you in your career."