On Monday 14 May we hosted a celebratory event and awards ceremony for our amazing volunteers and their families, to thank them for the time, care, expertise and commitment they generously give to Coin Street and our local community here in Waterloo and North Southwark.
It was fantastic to see so many of the volunteers gathered in one place and to get a chance to shine a light on their contributions to Coin Street’s community activities. Programmes they lend help with range from Upgrade Yourself after-school tutoring sessions, where they dedicate their time and skills to support young people with their studies and advice about their future choices to Gentle Gardening sessions to make local green spaces more colourful and vibrant and, of course, our popular Community Days and Young at Heart parties for older people.
The evening’s affairs kicked off with a drinks reception on the Coin Street neighbourhood centre’s roof terrace. There was an air of celebration as the volunteers and their families arrived and stepped out into the afternoon sunshine to join members of our Community Programmes team with whom they work closely. Some of our dedicated volunteers came directly from Monday’s Upgrade Yourself session, accompanied by the students they regularly support.
Coin Street Community Builders and Coin Street Centre Trust board members, as well as the proud teachers of our tutors from Westminster School, also joined us to congratulate our volunteers.
The terrace was filled with animated chatter as attendees mingled with old friends, made new ones and sung the volunteers’ praises.
As the sun began to set, everyone made their way to one of the most spacious rooms in the neighbourhood centre to begin the awards ceremony.
All the volunteers and students were called up to receive their award from our Community Participation Manager, Laura, amidst applause and cheers from the audience.
We also took the opportunity to present Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award winners Callie and Josiah with their peer-voted awards, recognising their outstanding contributions to the community; medallions to go with their framed certificate and £250, already presented to Coin Street for each of the young people to spend on a project of their choice which will benefit the Coin Street-led programmes they attend. Callie tells us she is planning to take fellow Youth Clubbers for a swim at none other than the Olympic Park’s London Aquatics Centre. Josiah, one of our City Leaders and volunteer for our youth, sport and older people programmes, has already treated all his friends and fellow-volunteers to burgers.
Another highlight of the evening was hearing Upgrade Yourself volunteers and students read out notes they had written about each other;
“Timi has been one of the most helpful people during my stressful times as a GCSE student” – Devonte
“India is a very warm and friendly tutor. Always willing to help and very patient when teaching” – Jhnelle
It was inspiring to hear how much of a difference our volunteers have been making to these young people’s lives.
After the ceremony we brought out the pizzas and cupcakes to conclude a wonderful event in even higher spirits with a little party.
We’d like to thank everyone who joined us and all those who helped to organise the event. We’d particularly like to thank our Community Programmes placement student and volunteer Julia (pictured above) who went above and beyond to help us make the event a success.
Would you like to volunteer for the local community? Find out what opportunities are available and get involved.
We were recently awarded LSE Voluntary Organisation of the Year after being nominated by one of our student volunteers Rinako. Find out more.