Fitting time into our busy schedules for community or specific cause volunteering can be a challenge but the rewards to the soul are hard to quantify. Sometimes you’re appreciated, sometimes not, but having done lots of it in the past, I can honestly say if you’re Manchester-based, giving up your time to help out at Victoria Baths would be something you’d never regret.
I first visited this incredible water palace, opened in 1906, about seven years ago to rummage through stalls at their now very popular vintage home show and quite fell in love with the place. Since then we’ve joined in as visitors at lots of events, but never ever seen the any of the pools, all emptied when the building was closed (boo hiss) by Manchester City Council in 1993, filled with water. Occasionally the pool has been filled with cold water for advertising shoots or filming purposes, but this year’s Open Swim Day was only the second time in 25yrs that the public have been able to swim in one of these magnificent pools. Most events are run by a small core team of employed Victoria Baths staff, but volunteers are essential to actually run the days or evenings. Mr Moregeous was on duty handing out official ‘I Swam At Vici Baths’ certificates to all those lucky enough to get tickets and I was welcoming guests and generally mucking in. And the perk? Knowing that at the end of the day we’d be able to not just dip our toes but properly swim in this amazing heritage building. Who knows when we’d get that chance again. There’s something magical about drawing the stripey curtain to the poolside cubicle and emerging ready for our Edwardian dip. Almost felt wrong not to be wearing some kind of historic costume! I did ask Mr M if he used to wear a historic costume when he came here with his school as a young boy…. he threatened to throw me in the deep end. Not sure they had Coachella Hot Pink Flamingoes in 1906 but I bet they’d have loved ’em.An absolute privilege, honestly, and such a fun thing to do. Also, mid-reno, I can also now claim that we’ve already officially been on holiday this year when he asks 😉
If you fancy volunteering at Victoria Baths and helping out at one of their brilliant foodie, vintage or music events, email Gwyneth on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A lovely, friendly team where everyone mucks in and helps each other, and everyone’s contribution is valued, respected and appreciated. Even if you can only drop in for an hours cake slicing or table setting out, every little helps.
Maybe see you there 🙂 x