I really enjoyed all of it, especially learning how to interview people, the sports commentary and filming social media clips. It was great to go to the swimming in Manchester and the staff were all brilliant to work with.
Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships
Over 30 people supported by Community Integrated Care from across Greater Manchester have been a part of a life-changing Inclusive Volunteering® Programme at the 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships, marking the first time the charity’s initiative has been delivered within a paralympic sports environment.
The Inclusive Volunteers enjoyed personal development and education opportunities inspired by the event to help them prepare for their placements, enabling them to grow in independence, skills, social connection and to enjoy physical activity through swimming.
From an employability club inspired by Gold Medal winning Paralympic Legend Ellie Simmonds, to having the opportunity to meet and interview both Ellie and the Lord Mayor of Manchester at the Championships, gifting them unique artworks they had created – this is a programme like no other, and many lives have changed.
Joining forces with Manchester 2023 Para Swimming
Pre Championships Experience Days
Through a variety of experience days led by our specialist team, volunteers explored their interests while learning new skills at Moss Side Leisure Centre.
Employability and Self Care
An Employability Club inspired by Great Britain Paralympian, Ellie Simmonds, give volunteers a taste for swimming and the excitement of Para Sports events. Learning good practices to adopt that can improve employability chances, volunteers picked up skills to support their personal development.
BBC studio make up artist Samantha Metcalfe visited Community Integrated Care’s support services to deliver an inspiring self-care workshop, supporting volunteers to find confidence and tips on presentation to support with future career prospects.
Leading sports journalist Gareth Walker led a sports commentary session giving volunteers the chance to commentate over Ellie Simmonds’ famous gold winning moments. With a professional mic setup, volunteers delivered lines to rival sports greatest broadcasters.
Volunteers also co-produced a promotional advert for the event through a professional green screen filming experience. With many being in front of the camera for the first time, people we support grew in confidence, creating a series of videos hailed by Para Swimming social media teams.
Arts, Photography and Poetry
Through a walking photography tour of Manchester led by Open Eye Gallery, volunteers took in the sights of their home city through the lens, capturing the best of the Northern Quarter. You can view this gallery here. Renowned northern poet Terry Caffrey delivered a poetry workshop inspiring volunteers to find confidence in their own voice through self-expression.
Para Swimming Inclusive Volunteers enjoy commentary experience
Our Volunteers hone their skills with the help of Sports Journalist Gareth Walker, commentating over Ellie Simmonds’ famous gold winning moments!
Championships Event Placements
Art Of Inclusion
At the Para Swimming World Championships Civic Reception, volunteers gifted special artwork prints to visiting international athletes and local dignitaries, including the Lord Mayor of Manchester. The volunteers created unique artworks that were inspired by the event with support from creative arts charity Age Exchange. View the artworks and creative experience here.
Opening Ceremonies and TV Crews
Hours before the Championships Finals kicked off, volunteers supported the event operations team with practice run throughs of the opening ceremony, holding nations flags while walking out on stage. Volunteers took their learnings from the Media experiences to the event, showing the confidence to be interviewed by the TV crews live at the event.
An Event For All
Fans in attendance were given the warmest welcome to Para Swimming, with volunteers signposting guests to information hubs and gifting artworks. Photography placements saw volunteers capture the best of the action both pool side and across the Manchester Aquatics Centre, sharing the inside story daily for Community Integrated Care’s online audiences. This included volunteers creating their own TikTok reels to update their personal followings!
Four people who access care and support secured paid employment, delivering accessibility assessments at the Championships to support greater event inclusivity. The Community Integrated Care ‘Support Squad’ are passionate about disability rights and making events more accessible to all. These learnings will be shared with UK Sport, Sport England and British Swimming.
With behind-the-scenes access, volunteers chatted with athletes from around the world, hearing of their inspiring stories, while finding common ground in adversities they may have faced. The undoubted highlight of the week was when Ellie Simmonds met with the volunteers, giving the group the opportunity to chat with a world champion.
We're ready for the Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships
Our Inclusive Volunteers created this promotional video advertising the upcoming Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships!
We’ve started a regular Friday morning swim, where all of the people that we support who were Inclusive Volunteers go down to the pool. It’s become a real highlight of the week. Having that physical exercise is important, and we make everything fun for them. It’s the friendship group they’ve formed as well - they all push each other to go further.
Throughout the week we welcomed the amazing talents and skills of the Volunteers, and we could see just how much it meant to everyone involved. Their dedication helped us to host an unforgettable week of sport.
Community Integrated Care have brought real imagination, creativity and passion to the Championships, and have certainly opened my eyes as to how to broaden the reach of volunteering opportunities and activities available through the Inclusive Volunteering Programme.