Mayor recognises volunteers’ work at community centres
Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan Cllr Eric Hacker hosted a reception for community centre volunteers to raise awareness of the importance of volunteering and to thank them for their efforts.
Volunteers from 11 community centres across the Vale, including Barry, Penarth, Rhoose and Llancarfan, attended the event at the Mayor’s parlour in Barry.
A total of 22 council-owned community centres are managed by volunteers and the Mayor thanked them all for the time and effort they had given to their community centres over the past year.
Mayor Cllr Hacker said: “The sterling work the voluntary management committees perform in the community centres we have in the Vale is immense.
“They make a large contribution to the local communities they serve and I am pleased to say that this is replicated across the Vale.”
The Vale’s community centres provide low cost affordable facilities for local communities to use for a wide variety of activities.
For more information on community centres contact Siân Vaughan on 01446 704813.
Olympic Legacy Lives on……
With the success of the London Olympics almost a distant memory, read how someone from Cardiff has benefited from being a Games Maker
What was your specific Gamesmaker role? Please give examples of some activities
1st Responder (OPK). Providing first aid cover in the Olympic park during the Paralympic Games. Ranging from cut fingers to seizures and the odd dislocated hip. Taking charge of and working from specific medical centres and also providing a roaming service on foot across the Olympic park site.
What is your current volunteering role/which organisation?
Welsh Ambulance Service – Community First Responder.
What made you apply to be a Gamesmaker and why did you decide to continue volunteering after the Games?
I wanted to be a Games Maker initially because I thought…. ‘ooh that sounds interesting perhaps I could use my nursing skills for something’ my next thought (if I’m honest) ‘ooh I might get to meet athletes’ as I thought it would be good to use my medical skills in the athletes village. I’d been ‘volunteered’ as medical cover for the Sydney Flora Marathon in 2002 and thought well that was a big sporting event!
However once starting the process of applying for GM I realised there was much more to it than starry eyes! I realised I would be part of something that was truly once in a life time and I think this was really brought home to me when the flame arrived at Lands End and they interviewed a torch bearer from 1948 who thought that they would never see the likes of this ever again. (I thought well I’m probably never going to do something like this ever again so I just have to go for it)
Whilst going through the training it really dawned on me how big this event was going to be and from then on there was no question of not being a games maker (I even got my other half who is a Wheelchair user to apply, He DID get to meet elite tennis athletes).
To say I had the time of my life at London 2012 is an understatement. I know it is a bit clichéd to say, but most things that happen to you in life are not brought to you on a plate, you have to go out and grab those memories. I have found that by volunteering I have had experiences that ‘ordinary’ life just wouldn’t have exposed me to. Whilst being a games maker I met some fabulous people who will remain friends for life. I laughed SO much. I met lovely members of the public, officials and a few Paralympians from all walks of life and countries. To know I was part of a Games where Women from all countries participated, fills me with pride that will stay with me forever. To know I was part of a Games where children wanted their action men to be missing a leg so they could play ‘Paralympics’ shows me the force for good we witnessed. I’ve put my name forward for Sochi Winter Games 2014, Glasgow Common wealth 2014 and Rio 2016.
Why have I decided to carry on volunteering…..
I think essentially it is to perpetuate the sense of well being that I get from putting something back into my community. Whether that is from the assistance you give to one person or just knowing that doing a little bit is helping the greater good. It’s 2 fold really, I get a sense of achievement and hopefully there is a good outcome for the organisation/ person I’ve assisted. (the ripple effect if you will). I don’t know that I would have specifically gone for being a community first responder had I not done that role at London 2012. It gave me confidence to try something new. And whilst many might say well being a nurse and helping people is what you do, all I can say is my role at work is very different to my volunteering role which really challenges my perception of people and stretches my clinical skills.
For more information on volunteering as a First Responder, please contact us
Welsh Government Committed to Volunteering
Debbie Olivari and her team members participated in their day of volunteering at Dyffryn Gardens. They undertook a number of duties including digging, weeding, planting etc. Not only did it enable the team to participate in some worthwhile volunteering but also enabled them to work together as part of a team. The weather held and it was a fine day for some outdoor volunteering.
“I’ve been volunteering now for just over 3 months with the Prince’s Trust Team Programme. While I’m interested in working with young people, volunteering wasn’t something I considered, it wasn’t a job so why should I volunteer?
Before volunteering I have been unemployed for over a year, I found myself being de-motivated, secluded with no drive or vision. Three months later, I am loving my placement and have asked to extend my stay with Princes Trust. Volunteering has really helped me to focus, even if it’s just getting up in the morning. I have met new people, and my confidence levels are back to what they were. I’ve taken part in loads of activities, a week’ residential raft building, abseiling, climbing; challenging myself all the time to try new things. I’ve written articles, been on local radio and took part in community projects.
It’s still not a job, but the opportunities and new experiences I’ve gained from volunteering is priceless, it also looks good on my CV, and hey who knows, a job might even come of it!
Volunteer aged 23years