YMCA thank their volunteers at Annual Volunteer Appreciation Awards
YMCA’s staff and Board members came together to officially thank their resident volunteers for the year’s amazing work.
The Volunteer Appreciation Awards Ceremony was held in the Regency Room at YMCA Brighton’s Head Office at the Steine. The event was attended by over 35 people, including 22 residents and their friends, staff members and 3 Board members.
Following a heart-warming speech by Mark Wainwright, Brighton YMCA’s Deputy Chief Executive, the certificates were presented by David Hancock, Sarah Johnston Ellis and Peter Jukes from the YMCA’s Board of Management.
Mark thanked the volunteers for their commitment, dedication and the time engagement.
‘Our service would be very different without our volunteers.’ Mark went on to speak about the importance of an environment where people can work towards getting back into the job market, in a warm, welcoming and supportive way. The variety of volunteer positions that YMCA Brighton offers as well as the flexibility of the roles mean that residents have the chance to learn what they are good at, build on their skills and confidence gradually, as well as to adjust to the impact that a constant commitment has on their life and wellbeing.
The presentation of awards was followed by a buffet, hot drinks and a celebratory cake.
YMCA Brighton offers its residents a range volunteering roles, aimed to help each individual identify their own strengths and interests and ultimately find the employment or training that suits them.
Sarah Law, Client Involvement Co-ordinator, said: ‘Among our volunteer positions there are: Resident Representative and Coffee Bar Team leaders, Peer Facilitators and Peer mentors. We also encourage residents to develop their own volunteer positions and often have clients running their own pop-up events or facilitating activities of their choosing.’ An example of such a pop-up event is the recent opening of a pop-up nail bar at George Williams Mews YMCA by Val, who offered manicure and pampering services to the residents.
The residents attending the awards ceremony spoke of the direct impact of volunteering on their day to day life, self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as of the importance of having their year’s work acknowledged by a formal event. Simon Rowse, Resident Representative at Stanley Court, said: ‘I enjoyed the grand surroundings, which were matched by the beautiful cakes and chocolates. Following Mark’s speech, we could mingle and celebrate our success. Well done to all the volunteers – and keep up the good work!’