Being a volunteer provides opportunities to meet new people, learn new skills and gain valuable experience. Often it can be a gateway to employment, and there are several members of Foundation staff who started out as volunteers.
One such employee is Lily Cullen, who volunteered at a Street Reds project held at her school, Manchester Enterprise Academy in Wythenshawe.
“I became a volunteer because I really enjoyed football and wanted to get involved more in the coaching side,” explains Lily. “My PE teacher, Mr. Baker, told me about volunteering for Manchester United Foundation and all the opportunities that came with it.”
Almost three years later, Lily is a casual staff member working on Foundation cohesion projects as well continuing as a volunteer at girls’ football sessions. Furthermore, Lily has an important role as a “runner” liaising between different club departments during Old Trafford match days.
She says, “Being a volunteer has really boosted my confidence and has given me the opportunity to get my level one and disabled football coaching badges. My advice to anyone who is thinking of volunteering is to get involved and give 100% of your effort as it is noticed, and more opportunities will come your way.“
As part of the Foundation’s ongoing support of volunteers, a seven-a-side inter-cohesion project tournament will take place at Stretford Sports Village on Friday 6th June. Teams from each Street Reds project across Greater Manchester will be selected and managed by project volunteers where they will battle it out for a chance to be crowned champions.
Volunteer Ninety Nine is a Manchester United Foundation programme designed to provide training, nationally recognised qualifications and work experience. Every hour counts as participants are encouraged to achieve milestones of 33, 66 and 99 hours of volunteering. If you’d like to find out more, please visit the Volunteer Ninety Nine page.