Introducing the new Manchester Breaking Boundaries Community Coordinator programme Matthew Youngson

Breaking Boundaries is a three-year programme (2018 –2021) funded by Spirit of 2012, supported by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and The Institute of Community Cohesion (Icoco).

We sit down with Matthew Youngson the new Community Coordinator for the Manchester Breaking Boundaries programme.

  1. How did you become a part of Breaking Boundaries city team?

The opportunity came from joining the MCRactive Sport Team, I found out about the role then. I spoke with James the last Coordinator and it sounded really interesting and challenging.

  1. What attracted you to take part in volunteering?

Giving back and giving a hand really. I come from a small village and that's just how things were done. You help out one another and the offer of money for doing so was frowned upon. It was done just to help, if you could do it you would do it. My mum would help out in care homes, my dad designed and helped build a bowling club through volunteering. My aunty used to be the secretary for the local football team, so it's in the blood.

  1. What skills do you have which you feel will be of benefit in the City Coordinator role?

I was formerly a Volunteer Coordinator in the area the project is based, so I have recruited and put on opportunities for young volunteers already. I am hoping that will serve me well in this new role, as I have seen the benefits that come from getting involved in your community.

  1. Has your volunteering brought people together from different backgrounds in your community? 

Yes, especially if there's food involved. We may have differences in the community, but everyone has to eat and food can break barriers.

  1. How important is it for young people like yourself to be involved in volunteering and why?

Taking time out to help other people is deeply rewarding and it can give you a really good feeling of achievement. I would urge any young person to give volunteering a go, you can meet people normally you may not in day-to-day life. You can share new experiences and most importantly you can have a laugh.

  1. What difference do you hope to make in your local community through your volunteering?   

People getting to know other people from their community, to start conversations. That's where relationships start, with a chat. If you have that then you can build something going forward.

  1. What has been your most inspirational moment in volunteering? If possible, relate this back to your role as the Breaking Boundaries Coordinators

Over my years I have seen many inspiring individuals that volunteer, one of which is in a local church not far from our offices. The local vicar there turned one of her churches into a homeless shelter much to the dismay of the community. Far from being put off by the comments, she then turned her other church into a community supermarket over the lockdown. Her kindness knows no bounds and she is an inspiration to us all.

  1. If you had to describe your experience of Volunteering in three sentences, what would you say?

Volunteering has made me stronger. Volunteering has made me laugh. Volunteering has made me humble.

  1. During this last period of lockdown do you have any advice you would like to share on how to volunteer to share with young people?

I would say to any young person to look what's out there. Look at your religious buildings, your community centres, your care homes. Look where the real challenges are in your community as they need your help. They need your energy, your skills, your kindness and most importantly your time. What you get back you can't quantify with money; you get respect and self-esteem. The groups are out there, they just need you to find them and the differences will be made trust me.