Manchester Fed thanks volunteers


Manchester's Federation of Jewish Services marked the national Volunteers' Week with a thank-you party for over 60 members of its unpaid army of helpers.

FJS - the result of a merger between The Fed and Heathlands Village in December - has in excess of 500 volunteers, including a sigficant number of young people.

"We simply could not function without them," said FJS marketing officer Joyce Khan. "They are involved in numerous aspects of service provision, but also help us out behind the scenes, in admin, with fundraising and in our shops."

Great-grandmother Emily Jacobs has been a volunteer for a number of years, initially in the FJS charity shop in Cheetham Hill Road, but now also acting as a befriender to a housebound woman of a similar age. "In truth I'm selfish," she said. "I also live alone and volunteering gives my week a structure and helps me get out."

Philip Gordon said that volunteering had helped him to cope with unemployment. "On Wednesdays and Fridays when I wake up in the morning, I feel better knowing I'm going to be volunteering that day. I love bringing a smile to people's faces."

Chief executive Karen Phillips expressed thanks for the volunteers' efforts.

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