Sean Hooked on Positivity After YMCA Stay

January 1, 2015

FOR Sean, life at YMCA Humber has come full circle in a short period of time. The 20-year-old moved into the Foyer in 2011 ago in order to get his life back on track.

“I was heading down the wrong path in life,” he admitted.

“If it wasn’t for a YMCA, I could be out on the streets or still living in temporary accommodation.”

But with the help of his key worker at the Foyer, Sean was able to turn his life around and focus on obtaining his own accommodation and employment.

The first step was to start volunteering with Get Hooked on Positive Activities (GHoPA), when they were based on Heneage Road in Grimsby.

But in 2012, the organisation moved premises to YMCA Humber’s Peaks Lane Housing Project, also in Grimsby.

For Sean it was something of a homecoming, although he would now be the one assisting the young people of YMCA Humber, rather than receiving the support himself.

He said: “It was a pleasant surprise to see GHoPA move down to YMCA and it brought back some memories for me.

“It was nice to be able to give something back.

“They have helped me tremendously and now I am in a position where I can help young people like myself.”

The move coincided with Sean taking on an apprenticeship with GHoPA and he soon became a valuable and popular part of the organisation’s team.

Sean helped to coordinate young volunteers from YMCA Humber into archery coaching and the Talent Match Young People’s Forum, as well as helping to organise the two charities’ inaugural golf day, which took place in May 2013.

And one project Sean has worked on that is very beneficial to the young people of YMCA Humber is the Watch My Cash website.

Despite having no previous experience of web design, Sean partnered with another GHoPA volunteer, Michael Chapman to deliver Watch My Cash through the Money for Life Challenge.

The website focuses on financial advice for young people, including benefits and debt management. For more information, please visit www.watchmycash.com.

But volunteering is something that Sean holds close to his heart and he gains a tremendous amount of satisfaction in seeing young people take up the opportunities.

“Without the valuable input and skills of our volunteers, the project would not be able to provide the wide range of services that we do,” he stated.

“It is great to see many YMCA young people getting involved.

“There are plenty of opportunities for them, from archery and fishing coaching to working with websites and videos cameras.

“And the opportunities to further themselves are also there – recently we had a volunteer who was working on our websites and social media and he has gone into employment with a firm in Scunthorpe.”

Sean, how Admin, Finance and Volunteer Co-ordinator for GHoPA relishes working with YMCA Humber and he praised the organisation for its diversity and sense of inclusion.

He said: “Being with YMCA every day is different.

“It is different because you are always meeting new people, they are unique with their own stories to tell.

“There is always something different going on and no one day is the same.”