5 June 2014

Meet Pamela, a volunteer Y+ Fitness Instructor at YMCA Surbiton.

When Pamela started volunteering at YMCA St Paul’s Group a little over three months ago, she wanted to put her knowledge into practice, as she had completed her Level 2 Fitness qualification and was studying for Level 3.

I was very low on self confidence in terms of fitness as a career. The gym environment is a whole new ball game. When doing the qualification you are working with like-minded people, but working with actual customers is completely different and I needed to put that into practice”, she says.

Increased confidence

Volunteers buddy with members of staff, shadowing and learning as they go. The Fitness Instructors that Pamela works alongside are a big help, she says:

Ali, Victor, Harry and Craig (the NHS Referral) have been great. When I had case studies to do they were on hand to answer questions. Sometimes they gave me homework, to research on a particular subject.”

Y+ Fitness Instructors take new gym members through inductions, in what is called the ‘Get Started Programme’. After shadowing the Instructors a few times, it was Pamela’s turn to help a gym member through the five step programme.

It threw me into the deep end, but it was the best way to do it. If I hadn’t had done it then, I might still be saying ‘I can’t do it, I can’t do it’. I am always given constructive feedback, which is really helpful”, Pamela says.

Recommends volunteering

Pamela has been a vital part of the Fitness team since she started volunteering for YMCA St Paul’s Group, and she is enjoying her time too, recommending volunteering to friends:

I’m so glad I came to volunteer. I tell people who are newly qualified that you need to work in a gym before taking on clients, in order to get that experience.”

She believes that volunteering is a good way to gain this experience, adding that “volunteering is less pressure and feels a lot more supportive.”

What next?

Andy Mole, Volunteer Co-ordinator at YMCA St Paul’s Group, says Pamela has been a very valuable addition to the Y+ Fitness team at YMCA Surbiton.

Pamela has now completed her Level 3 Fitness qualification. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve this level of qualification and we are very proud of her. The great news for us at YMCA LSW is that Pamela is going to continue volunteering. She has a real desire to keep learning”.

Pamela herself says: “I want to find my niche, do as much as I can and discover which direction I want to go in. It doesn’t happen overnight, you need to take baby steps.”

Volunteer for YMCA LSW

At YMCA St Paul’s Group, we have a valued team of volunteers working across most of our departments. Volunteer roles include, but are not limited to: Fitness Instructors; Café Assistants; Receptionists; Administrators; Accountants; Youth Workers; Gardeners; Chaplains; Play Workers; and Trustees.

The above list isn’t exclusive – if you have skills or experience in other fields and would like to volunteer, please get in touch with Andy Mole, Volunteer Co-ordinator. Email: andymole@ymcalsw.orgPhone: 0208 399 5427

Volunteers receive induction training and are required to undergo an enhanced DBS check. Travel expenses are reimbursed and meals are provided while on duty. After a qualifying period and depending on hours worked, volunteers may also use our gyms at YMCA Hawker, YMCA Surbiton and YMCA Wimbledon, as well as Hampton Open Air Pool, free of charge.