Deputy Mayor praises YMCA Volunteers at Appreciation Awards

During a moving speech, Brighton’s Deputy Mayor praised Brighton YMCA client volunteers for their dedication and commitment and for often going the extra mile.


Brighton YMCA clients, board members and partner agencies were pleased to welcome Cllr. Alex Phillips, Deputy Mayor of Brighton and Hove in thanking their client volunteers for the year’s amazing work during  Client Appreciation Awards Ceremony.


The Client Appreciation Awards Ceremony, which is now in its’ sixth year, took place in the Regency Room at Brighton YMCA’s Steine House Head Office and was attended by a record number of people.


The Client Appreciation Awards Ceremony is an opportunity to thank the volunteers for their hard work and commitment to the organisation during the past year. A total of 70 certificates were awarded to clients who had taken part in education or volunteering activities. On the day, 17 people received over 30 awards – some clients being in receipt of three different ones. Unprecedented this year, the awards extended to specific acknowledgements for clients, such as: ‘dedication to volunteering’, ‘achieving aspirations’, and ‘working together’.


The volunteers’ invaluable contribution to the work of the organisation and the wider community was highly praised by Cllr Alex Philips, who said:

‘As a Deputy Mayor I see so much stress, anxiety and so many struggles in our city. In this context, to be able to see the fantastic work you all do, the contributions you make to such a brilliant charity is extremely moving. The passion in this room is amazing.’

‘It is brilliant to see that you spread such a positive message of opportunity and hope, and that your successes are being recognised here today. You are inspirational. You should be incredibly proud. It is not possible to thank you all individually, but visiting today has confirmed that you have so much to be proud of. ‘


Brighton YMCA offers all its clients a range of educational and volunteering roles, aimed to help each individual identify their own strengths and interests and ultimately find the employment or training that suits them. Cllr Alex Phillips spoke of the direct impact of volunteering on people’s day to day life, self-esteem and self-confidence: ‘Whether you are offering your time to help your neighbour, to make the hallways of your building more homely, to represent your fellow residents, or to mentor others, your time and energy makes such a difference.’


One client spoke about the importance of the day for herself and her family:

‘This [getting an Achieving Aspirations Award] has made my day. No, wait: it’s made my week, it has made my month.’

We thank Cllr. Alex Phillips, Deputy Mayor of Brighton and Hove, our staff  and board members Sarah Johnston Ellis, David Hancock and Peter Jukes, as well the partner organisations who came to support this event and made it into such a warm and inspiring day. Thank you to Madelaine Hunter, CEO at The Rita Project, Mark Newman from the Friends Centre, Vicky, Ash, Stuart and Si from Change Grow Live, Issy, Rose, Loli and Tony from EVOLVE Work and Learning and Will Vaughan, LASER Accredited Learning and Quality Assurance Manager.


Most importantly, we take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful clients who make Brighton YMCA the community it is today.