When we started looking at the 60 Days of Positivity Campaign we knew that some truly great stories would be there ready to be told; purely based on the work that we do. But we have been astounded by the amazing work that happens and the effect that we have on peoples lives. When we read the story below about Jenny we were truly truly moved by the impact that our volunteer programme has on both those that volunteer as well as those they volunteer for. Never has help us help you been more appropriate. Here is the story of Jenny:
‘In autumn last year we were contacted by Paul, an employment officer from Southampton City Council. Through the Solent Jobs Programme, Paul was working with a lady who had been out of work for a number of years and was lacking self-confidence but was keen to get some work experience to help her get back into the workplace. Jenny had brought up her own child and now enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, so thought childcare may be for her. Paul supported Jenny to complete her application paperwork and online training, which was a challenge in itself, as she had little experience with IT.
We set a date for Jenny to come to YMCA Woolston to have a look round and talk about the volunteering role, with Paul coming along for support. The day before we were due to meet, Paul called to say that Jenny felt so supported and welcomed by the YMCA staff throughout the recruitment process that she felt confident enough to attend the meeting without Paul. This was a big step for Jenny.
She decided that the baby room would be the best place to start and as soon as she walked into the room one of the babies smiled at her and indicated to be picked up. This has continued every time Jenny has come to volunteer and she is now a popular part of the baby room team. She has been great in helping new babies settle in to the nursery and, in turn, her confidence has grown massively.
Paul has also recognised this growth in confidence, telling us that Jenny
‘ talks enthusiastically about working with both children and staff and it is clear that she has been made very welcome by you and your colleagues. This has clearly helped to raise her sense of self-worth and improved her outlook on life, giving her a positive goal to work towards.’Paul, Employment Officer, SCC
Jenny has told us that since volunteering with the YMCA she has a new goal- to work in childcare. Paul has since identified a way to help Jenny reach this goal. The Solent Jobs Programme offers a fantastic opportunity called Temporary Employment Placement. Through this Jenny will be paid directly by the Solent Jobs Programme to work 16 hours per week at YMCA Woolston. In this role Jenny will take on more responsibilities in the baby room and gain even more insight into working in childcare. This is a great way for her to gain work experience and skills to get back into employment and may even lead to a new member of the YMCA staff team in the future.’
Volunteering can be the most rewarding work that you can do. If you are looking for a volunteering role or had never considered it before and want to find out more then check out the volunteering page of our website and let us help you help us!