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Celebrating Excellence: Southend YMCA's Youth Volunteering Awards Night

On June 4th, 2024, Southend YMCA hosted an unforgettable Youth Volunteering Awards night, a jubilant celebration of the exceptional dedication and impact of our young volunteers. The evening radiated with joy, heartfelt recognition, and a strong sense of community spirit as we honoured individuals whose contributions have profoundly transformed lives in our community.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who joined us for this special occasion, including esteemed guests such as the Mayor, Councillors, and all the deserving award recipients. Your presence and support added immense value to the event, making it a truly memorable night.

Here are the award nominations and the exceptional winners who were honoured for their dedication and impact:

  • Volunteer Partner Award: The University of Essex

  • Outstanding Service Award: Abiola Adekeye & James Dove

  • Creativity in Volunteering Award: Lydia Kovacs

  • Volunteering Cameo Award: Ray Winstone

  • Challenging Stigma through Volunteering Award: Southend YMCA’s Bump To Breast Project Mothers

  • Places and Spaces Partner Award: Twenty One Southend

  • Volunteering to Overcome Homelessness Award: Serving The Homeless And  Elijah Heyns

  • Young Achiever Award: Sean Blythe

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Ron Wright

Ron Wright, who made significant contributions to our community and young people, sadly passed away last year, but his legacy of service lives on. Therefore, starting next year, the Youth Volunteering Awards will be renamed 'The Ron Wright Award' in tribute to his excellent dedication.

Each award recipient exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism and community service, embodying values that inspire us all. We are immensely proud of our volunteers and remain committed to nurturing and supporting their ongoing efforts to create positive change.

The event also highlighted the future of volunteering within our organisation. Embracing the motto “be the one,” Southend YMCA has implemented a three-tier volunteering system: bronze, silver, and gold- allowing volunteers to flexibly contribute based on their availability and interests. Our commitment to their development is underpinned by our Investors in People Gold accreditation, ensuring each volunteer’s strengths are harnessed and potentially developed through personalised development plans and regular peer meetings.

Moreover, Southend YMCA recognises the importance of corporate volunteering opportunities and has tailored packages to suit businesses’ needs, fostering community engagement and employee satisfaction. By partnering with Southend YMCA, volunteers and businesses alike benefit from our expertise and support, backed by our promise as a Gold accredited organisation by Investors in People.

Together, we eagerly anticipate continuing our journey of empowerment and impact within Southend’s vibrant community. Thank you once again to everyone who made this event possible, and to our incredible volunteers who continue to make a difference every day.

Here’s to many more successes and milestones in the future!

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