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Making a difference to young people YMCA

Making a difference to young people

 
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The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has seen charitable organisations need to change the way they operate. Volunteering is one specific area that has seen a dramatic shift from in-person, to virtual, reflecting the way we at Sodexo have had to adapt our own ways of working.

As Sodexo’s charitable arm, the Stop Hunger Foundation has been working hard to source virtual volunteering opportunities for Sodexo colleagues to be involved with.

One of the virtual volunteering opportunities now available to you over the festive period is with YMCA – a global charity that supports young people who are facing issues such as homelessness, family breakdown, substance misuse and mental and physical health problems. This is vital, as it helps reduce the number of young people that fall into the poverty cycle, providing them with a better quality of life.

In the UK and Ireland, there are currently more than 9,000 young people living in YMCA accommodation. Due to their individual circumstances, and the global pandemic, it may be a very lonely and anxious time of year for them.

Stop Hunger is partnering with YMCA so you can volunteer your time to write a Christmas message to a young person currently in residence. This is something that doesn’t take much, but will mean a lot to vulnerable young people who will receive one of these messages on Christmas Day.

Young people like 18-year old Bradley, who describes his experience with YMCA as life changing:

“If it wasn’t for YMCA, I think I would be living on the streets. My youth worker and I meet every week, and she helps me look for jobs, how to budget and how to build on my independence skills. I am so grateful.”

Katie Greaves, YMCA’s Corporate Partnerships Manager, explains:

“It’s been an incredibly challenging year for our young people, many of whom experience isolation and loneliness at the best of times. Your message could give a young person hope for a brighter future and let them know that there are people that truly care. A Christmas message may seem like a small thing – but it makes a real difference to our residents.”

The messages you write are anonymous and will be checked by the YMCA before being passed on to a resident by their YMCA youth worker.

If you’d like to make a young person’s Christmas special this year, please click here to visit The Stop Hunger Goodness Platform so you can write a message and record your volunteering time.

Working with the YMCA is just one of several volunteering opportunities now available to book onto via the platform. The opportunities are a mix of virtual and in-person volunteering with a variety of charity partners including Springboard, FareShare and Trussell Trust. Click here to log in and explore the volunteering opportunities available to you.

Please be advised that in-person volunteering should only be conducted by individuals and not as a group or team in line with current restrictions. If you need any help accessing The Stop Hunger Goodness Platform, please click here for support.

Thank you in advance to all of you who are volunteering this winter to support those most in need, and of course a huge thank you to everyone who writes a message for YMCA’s residents over the festive season.

 

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