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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 21st May 2017 Posted on Sunday 21 May 2017

If the first two Jubilee events are anything to go by it looks as though we will have record crowds of visitors to the Cathedral over these next few weeks. At present the final preparations are underway for the projection event for Light Night and thankfully the work on the Lantern Tower is finished for the time being, and the protective netting has now been taken down. Everything is in place for our Grand Anniversary Celebratory weekend. Thankfully we have a relatively quiet week ahead of final preparations and so I am taking the opportunity to have a few days break in Scotland before the main celebrations.

Just recently we have had ten people taking part in the ‘Volition Programme’ within our building, a scheme which has been in place at Liverpool Cathedral for some time. This is a ten week volunteering programme to help those who are out of work to increase their skills, gain confidence and improve their chances of finding work. One of the volunteers, Naomi, has written a report of her experiences here, and I thought you might like to read about her time on the programme. Quite a number of our employed and voluntary staff have offered support to the people on this programme. Many thanks to all who have helped with this – it is an example of some of the good work that goes on behind the scenes within the Cathedral. Naomi said, “I’ve really enjoyed taking part in the Volition course; my time is split between attending courses aimed to improve my employability and volunteering as an administrator with Cathedral House.

The coursework has helped me better understand what employers are looking for from job applicants and how to make my CV, cover letter or application form reflect that and stand out from other applicants. I have learned about different ways of finding vacancies and gained qualifications while on course.

They give mock interviews with real employers and honest critical feedback to help those who struggle with interviews to really improve their skills. Volition is always updating me on new vacancies that they think will be a good fit for me and supporting me through the application process to ensure I have the best chance possible of gaining employment.

The volunteer work involved with the Volition programme is what first drew me to the course, I have attended employability courses in the past and although they have helped me improve my job searching skills I feel that volunteering with Cathedral House really adds to the programme. I now have experience with working within an administrative team and the variety of duties an administrator has to do and I am confident in my ability to complete those duties well. I have been pushed to complete new and slightly daunting tasks, such as answering and forwarding calls and taking the minuets for a meeting, and simpler tasks like making tea and coffee or preparing letters to be sent. Cathedral House has given me real, necessary work to complete and trusted me to perform those duties while also giving me support and guidance whenever I needed help. The atmosphere within the Cathedral is lovely, all of the staff are friendly and I never feel like I cannot ask for help or that I will be penalised if I make a mistake. It’s easy to grow in that kind of environment and I’m learning a lot from my time here. Everyone involved in the course makes me feel like I’m doing something useful with my time, like they care about how I perform on the course and really do want to help me better myself and find work. I’m glad I went on the Volition course, I feel more confident in myself, in finding work in the future and my suitability in an administrative role.’