THE Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships is teaming up with the national social care charity Community Integrated Care and Sport England to deliver a life-changing Inclusive Volunteering programme.
This pioneering partnership sees more than 30 people who access care and support across Greater Manchester enjoy unique personal development opportunities inspired by the event. These projects are facilitated by the charity’s specialist team.
Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s most successful social care charities – delivering more than 10 million hours of care and support nationally. It provides specialist care and support to people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns, dementia, and complex care needs, and has a significant presence across Greater Manchester.
The charity’s groundbreaking Inclusive Volunteering Model leverages the excitement of major events to provide education, development and ongoing mentoring to people who access support in their daily lives – enabling them to grow in independence, skills, and social connection. This partnership with the Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships marks the first time that the programme has been delivered within a Paralympic sporting environment.
This programme offers a uniquely innovative way of promoting inclusion and opportunity. Participants can engage in a range of experiences – from a media training programme that fosters confidence through content creation, to an employability workshop that draws inspiration from the remarkable journey of five-times Paralympic Games Gold Medallist, Ellie Simmonds.
The participants are contributing to the event in many exciting ways – from creating a tournament poem with professional writers in workshops that build communications skills to developing creative talents by designing gifts for visiting athletes with the leading arts in care charity Age Exchange. Every volunteer will also enjoy a hands-on volunteering role at the event, providing vital work experience. These experiences not only inspire participants to unlock their own potential but also add to the spectacle of the event.
By fostering skills, friendships and passions that extend beyond the tournament, including supporting participants in becoming physically active through swimming, it will leave a lasting local legacy that will be felt for years to come.
Katie Chapman, Event Director at the Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships, said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with Community Integrated Care in delivering their Inclusive Volunteering Model.
“This is a true win-win project. It creates a much-needed platform for local people who access care to discover vital new opportunities, whilst also adding real vibrancy to our spectator and athlete experience in the projects that they are delivering. We can’t wait to welcome their amazing talents, skills, and dedication to help us host an unforgettable week of sport.”
John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care, said:
“The Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming Championships powerfully present a message of inclusion, opportunity, and hope for all, so offer the perfect backdrop for this programme.
“Our Inclusive Volunteering Model changes lives. It responds to some of the biggest challenges that are faced by disabled people – including a lack of access to vocational opportunities and support to enjoy physical activity. It gives participants support, direction and experiences that enable them to imagine and achieve a new future.
“We are truly grateful to our partners at British Swimming, World Para Swimming and Sport England for their vision and support. It has been a joy to see how excited our participants are to share their talents at this spectacular event.”
Sophie, who is supported by Community Integrated Care and will be volunteering at the event, said:
“It is incredible to be part of the Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships. Inclusive Volunteering is giving me the chance to try things that I never imagined possible. I am so excited to attend the event and to watch the swimming. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has made this possible.”