Wednesday 26th April saw our annual Mercers’ Young Volunteer of the year award hosted at Mercers’ Hall in Bank. The Mercers and the Charter 600 committee have long been supporters of London Youth’s Sports Programme and recognise the important role volunteers play in allowing our clubs to offer the range of activities they do. This year we had double the number of nominations, all of an exceptionally high standard which led to some difficult decisions for the panel.
Third place went to Natalie Sexton from Hounslow Youth in Action. Natalie started volunteering and assisting with sports sessions at her club aged just 13. She has been very pro-active in seeking the opinions of her peers and assisting staff with funding applications to support physical activity projects. She has engaged members in a huge range of sports, currently targeting young females and working towards integrating sports as a regular feature in HYA’s successful Young Woman’s Project. Her down to earth nature and relatability to current members mean she is seen as an approachable role model and a shining example for other young girls about what can be achieved. Natalie was awarded £250 to spend on behalf of her club.
In second place was Agne Daunoraviciute from Salaam Peace. Agne joined her club over five years ago to participate in the gym and cycling programmes. Since then she has showed strong organisational skills, reliability and a passion for sport, encouraging a female only cycling group on a series of long rides within the local area. She has undertaken a range of training courses to benefit her club, from NGB qualifications to time management qualifications. As well as helping with delivery of sessions she has become actively involved in funding applications and reports as well as community interaction and partnership development. This year alone she has engaged with over 750 people being part of the delivery of over 100 sessions. She has helped her club secure funds from a variety of different funders working on bids worth over £20,000 to help and inspire inactive and socially isolated individuals to take part in sport. Agne was presented with a cheque for £500.
This year’s winner was Julious Joseph of Mary’s Youth club. Julious has been attending his club for over five years volunteering with sessions in a huge range of sports. Over time he has progressed from this supporting role to planning, developing and delivering new sessions within his club. As well as leading the weekly sessions this young person has chaired focus sessions with young people encouraging them to put forward ideas to improve the fitness centre, and as a result they have successfully received funding to have the gym refurbished. This has also led him to turn his passion into a business, setting up his own company and providing and inspiration and a role model to his peers. Julious received a trophy and a cheque for £750.