At YMCA St Paul’s Group, we believe every person should be able to fulfill their potential.
…that’s why a range of training courses and workshops, confidence building sessions and volunteer opportunities are made available to the residents in our hostels and move-on houses at YMCA Surbiton and YMCA Wimbledon by the Community Activities Team.
Training & Education
The team was launched as a response to residents’ requests for more activities and learning opportunities to get involved with whilst staying at the YMCA, and it is being led by experienced staff from YMCA LSW’s Housing Department who are passionate about motivating and engaging residents in their pathway towards personal development, independent living and a better future.
Some of the sessions include personal development, confidence building, introduction to resettlement, arts and crafts, and music and drama workshops.
Feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive. Abdirahman is one of the residents who got involved in the Music Studio sessions at YMCA Surbiton.
“The session was very helpful and very useful. I learned music production; how to create music files, storing, saving and also playing back the music. Mike is really a nice person and he also showed me how to play different musical instruments on the programme. Before, I had no idea, but now I have some idea on how music is produced,” Abdirahman said.
An important part of the Community Activities Team’s work, is creating volunteering opportunities for residents both within the YMCA and in the wider community.
One of the first projects residents were invited to take part in was the decoration of Tower Lodge, a part of YMCA Wimbledon.
“I got involved because it is my profession, to share knowledge and experience with other people and also to give tips. I realised as decorators, however good we think we are, we are always learning”, said Kirk, a resident at YMCA Wimbledon.
Jason, a resident at YMCA Surbiton, added that “volunteering gets you out and about and I enjoyed it. It was an easy job even though there was little equipment and the paint wasn’t that great. There was no pressure on us from staff. They were very nice and friendly. Also the meals were great”.
“Volunteering can provide an opportunity for personal development like gaining new skills, knowledge and experience,” said Michael Tesfaye, Resident Volunteering and Liaison Worker in the Community Activities Team and himself a former resident at YMCA Wimbledon.
“In addition it can offer social benefits such as meeting new people, making friends and getting to know the local community. Whatever the reason, volunteering is highly recommended because it is a strong force in changing lives both for the volunteers and for the wider community”.