Horticultural volunteer receives recognition with national award

August 14, 2019

Oakley, a volunteer for YMCA Humber’s horticultural projects, has been nominated for a Youth Matter’s Award for Volunteer of the Year.

Home-grown Happiness

Oakley became a resident at YMCA Humber’s Foyer in 2018 where he started volunteering with the charity’s various environmental projects; assisting with building a small house out of cob (a mixture of compressed clay and straw), maintaining the fruit-bearing orchard in the field and planting British wildflowers, all part of YMCA Humber’s orchard project in conjunction with Fruit-full Communities. His interest in volunteering didn’t stop there, also having volunteered with the youth charity’s Maintenance team along with displaying his passion and skills for cooking in their kitchen.

As a proud representative at the Foyer, Oakley attends monthly resident meetings where he discusses concerns and ideas with staff to make changes to make living at the accommodation project more comfortable for residents. Oakley is also a member of the Foyer Federation Power-up Group and has attended regional meetings, where he has worked with a group of young people from various YMCA Foyers to develop a vision of what qualities an ideal Foyer should have.

Earlier this year, Oakley was recognised for his achievements with the Fruit-full Communities project and was invited to London for a tour of Westminster Parliament after being included in a parliamentary reception.

Oakley has commented on his volunteering experience:

“I started volunteering on the orchard because I really wanted to get into horticulture. They said that they had been planting 74 trees in the orchard and I was welcome to come and help. I really enjoyed my time on the orchard project and before I knew it, I was there every week!”

Leanne Burley, Oakley’s Coach at the Foyer, comments on her experience with coaching Oakley:

“Oakley is a very kind and considerate young man; he will help anybody and always puts in 100% into anything he does here at the Foyer and in the community.”

Oakley has been nominated for the Youth Matters Award for Young Volunteer of the Year!

To vote for him, click here and vote on the YMCA England website.