Volunteers are always very welcome at Fernhurst Football Club and two of their current volunteers are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards. The Duke of Edinburgh award is a world leading youth achievement award, and as Kate Brooks is always on the look out for people to help on Saturday mornings when 80 excited children turn up, she was delighted when Lloyd and Ollie stepped forward.
Lloyd told us that the award encourages people to volunteer because volunteering is all about making a difference to other people’s lives and that getting off the sofa and taking time out to change things for the better can be great fun. Ollie also said that as well as volunteering the award encourages you to learn a new skill (he is learning photography), and to undertake a fitness plan.
By helping the junior football club Ollie and Lloyd have gained a great deal. Below are some of the benefits they told us about:
- Interacting with and getting to know lots of people in the local community.
- Feeling and knowing I am giving something back to the community and club I was a part of.
- Developing social skills and confidence, through interaction with the parents.
- Being taught the basic skills to coach Under 7 football.
- Getting to know the children and watch them improve through the season.
- Understanding the administration and skills required to make things a success.
- Appreciating how much time and effort people have to put into club for it to be successful.
Kate told us that she is always impressed with the young people that come and volunteer. Part of the club’s ethos is to ensure it is a strong part of the village community.
Rich Payn joined the club when it first started in 2013 and has since become a Level 1 FA Coach and a qualified referee. He currently helps with the Under 11 team and Kate will be very sorry to see him go (to university). Leo Homewood (14) decided to volunteer after reading the club’s September issue about opportunities in the club. He has just started helping with the Under 7’s, coach Oli from Little Footy Stars is so impressed with his enthusiasm and the children love him! Sam Meier and Jude Unwin currently give up their Saturday mornings to referee the junior matches. To be a referee you need confidence, authority and energy. Kate has been extremely impressed with their attitude and reliability.
All the volunteers are showing a great example to the younger children, they are learning new skills, and improving their confidence and social skills. It is inspiring to see a generation of young people that care and want to make where they live a better place. And that is exactly what volunteering gives. It makes for a wonderful community and our volunteers should be proud.