“The YMCA would like to say a big thank you to our wonderful volunteers. We are so fortunate as an Association to have a fantastic group of people that help add value to the services that the YMCA runs in such a wide range of ways,” says Richard James, CEO of YMCA London South West.
This week is National Volunteers’ Week, and we at the YMCA are marking this by celebrating the achievements by our volunteers who are spread throughout our sites and services.
Here are just a few ways that people are volunteering with us at the moment: From front of house on reception, to behind the scenes doing admin and research, from inside our gyms to outside gardening, from working with children to working with our senior activities, from using a computer to playing a guitar.
No matter where it is, the contribution that each and every volunteer makes is remarkable.
“Whilst we are thankful for our volunteers’ contribution every day, as part of the nationally recognised volunteer week, we have the perfect opportunity to celebrate and thank our volunteers for their skills, time and commitment along with other charities and organisations across the UK,” says Andy Mole, Volunteer Co-ordinator at YMCA London South West.
“Our 150 plus strong (and let’s not undervalue the word ‘strong’) group of volunteers amass over 500 hours of volunteering per week, which over a year equates to a significant and somewhat unbelievable number of volunteering hours.
However, the most remarkable thing for me, from having the privilege of working alongside these remarkable people on a daily basis, is that I’m not surprised. I’m not surprised by the level of contribution or the quality of work or the positive feedback I receive. I’m just thankful that we are so lucky!”
Here is a little about our volunteering in numbers:
- Current volunteer number stands 158 but is ever increasing.
- The 500 plus weekly hours also don’t include ‘one-off’ volunteering such as the CEB Global Impact Day (link) or events such as SleepEasy (link) which rely heavily on volunteer support. Or hours contributed by members of the Board (and sub groups), Audit & Risk Committee, Presidents etc.
- The youngest volunteer is 14 years old, whilst the oldest is 78!
Areas of contribution are
Within the last year
Within the last year, Andy, Volunteer Co-ordinator at YMCA LSW has added to his ranks the Benchmark Theatre Company and Release Counselling. This goes to show that as the YMCA grows, so does the need for and impact of volunteers.
Benchmark Theatre Company comprises residents, staff and volunteers from YMCA London South West. The company was founded three years ago by Clare Fry and Lucy Taylor, as a result of the successful promenade style theatre piece ‘Homelessness’; a project which ran in collaboration with the Page to Stage Theatre Company. Benchmark Theatre aims to make quality, relevant and challenging performances that convey a message, include our community and entertain. Follow Benchmark Theatre Company on Twitter and Facebook for updates, news and how to get in touch!
At the start of 2015 YMCA LSW completed the adoption of the local Surbiton counselling charity ‘Release’. Release offer professional and affordable counselling for individuals, families and couples. The service Release offer is excellent because of the much needed emphasis on affordable. The service is run by a combination of staff and volunteers.
In addition, in April 2015 YMCA London South West is managing the White House in Hampton on behalf of the Hampton on Thames Community Association (link). Opportunities such as catering and gardening have started to be undertaken by volunteers.