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Remarkable results from World Gymnastics partnership

We’re excited to reveal the remarkable results of the impact our life-changing ‘Inclusive Volunteering Programme’ with the World Gymnastics Championships 2022 has had on volunteers across the Liverpool City Region.

An interim impact report reveals how the pioneering initiative saw more than 100 people locally supported by the charity enjoy personal development projects built around their individual goals and needs. This included 280 hours’ worth of volunteering opportunities at the event, and mentoring delivered by the charity’s specialist community team, designed to build skills and friendships to last far beyond the event.

From ‘an accessible employability club’ inspired by the working routines of gymnasts, to a unique photography club that sees people visit Liverpool’s iconic places to build independent living and creativity skills, it offers a distinctively ground-breaking way of promoting inclusion and opportunity.

Since the Championships ended, a participant survey has uncovered overwhelmingly positive responses, with soaring confidence levels, diminishing reported anxiety rates, the creation of new friendships, passions, and feelings of greater connection to their local community. 100% of participants were proud of their achievements, with 75% of participants are eager to continue with volunteering in the local community and have determination to attain paid employment in the future. 67% where inspired to try something new during the programme, with 62% strongly agreeing that volunteering had improved their wellbeing.

One of these projects – ‘Life Through a Lens’, developed in collaboration with renowned arts organisation, Open Eye Gallery, had a profound impact on volunteers. Through a series of creative and accessible group workshops at a Kensington Neighbourhood Health Centre in Liverpool, facilitated by professional photographer Sam Batley, volunteers come together to explore new photography techniques, from cyanotype prints to polaroid collages.

Karen McVeigh Community Integrated Care Sports Inclusion Specialist, said: “It was a privilege to work with the volunteers, who each brought a wealth of talent and enthusiasm to the Programme, contributing majorly to the overall success of this international event.

“With a demographic of an average age of 49, our group face limited access to meaningful opportunities in society, and their abilities are often overlooked. From gifting hand-crafted soaps to visiting athletes, performing dance routines in the fan zones and professional – we’re proud to see people we support thrive and have the backing of such as reputable organisations.”

Michelle Coulter, who is supported by Community Integrated Care, in Runcorn, says: “Volunteering at the World Gymnastics Championships was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’m so proud I was a part of it. I loved the photography that much, that I bought my own camera for Christmas, as I want to keep taking photos. It helps me to capture those memories I can always look back on. I’m grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me, and I’ve enjoyed feeling part of the community.’’

Find out more about the project by clicking the link.

Inclusive Volunteering at the World Gymnastics Championships 2022

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