ALTHOUGH he didn’t scoop the Young Worker of the Year Award, Foyer Coach Mentor Gary Storr did YMCA Humber proud at the recent Youth Matters Awards in London.
Gary was nominated for the award by his shirt partner, Charlie Kurz and faced stiff competition from Kay Westgate at YMCA Suffolk and eventual winner Jason Whybrow from YMCA West Kent.
And the Cleethorpes resident impressed the audience with a heartfelt and passionate video piece that recounted his time with YMCA Humber.
Gary said: “I have been working at YMCA for eight years and originally started out as a receptionist.
“After I completed my university course, I became a microbiologist but didn’t like, which is how I ended up becoming a full-time worker with YMCA.
“In July I moved to our Community House project in Grimsby and met a challenge with a young man who has a gambling addiction.
“He’s a very nice guy but the biggest challenge is getting him to admit he has a gambling problem.
“Once that was achieved, I was able to get in touch with a local gambling counsellor and I attend meetings with him on a weekly basis.
“He now pays his rent on time and is beginning to manage his money a lot better.”
“I was working with a young man who didn’t know how to tell the time,” he recalled.
“So I had to sit with him and teach him how to do it and it was a great achievement for us both.”
He continued: “I really enjoy my job, it is something different every day.
“It is rewarding to help people overcome challenges and I like to help them every step of the way.
“Working with YMCA has given a real purpose to my life.
“I’m grateful for what I’ve been given and I don’t take things for granted.
“YMCA is really like one big family, we embrace all kinds of people.”
Also attending the Youth Matters Awards was Peaks Lane Project Manager Jim Hudson, who presented the YMCA of the Year to YMCA North Staffs, alongside YMCA England CEO Denise Hatton.
Jim spoke passionately about the work of YMCA Humber’s Community House project, which won the award in 2013 and was later interviewed by BBC Newsbeat on the organisation’s work with young offenders.