for May 2019
Name Jo Marsh
Occupation Chief Operating Officer for Palladian Academy Trust
Youth club The Green Room in Box
About your club A vibrant community run club for young people, rising 11s up to 18, from Box and the surrounding areas. Older members tend to come as helpers through Duke of Edinburgh Scheme or developing their personal statements to help with work and Uni or college applications. We meet each Wednesday at the Pavilion in Box (a facility we helped fund) with regular sports coach, trips and membersí activities. Our volunteers donít have an age range and we usually have a good variety of life experience between us!
Volunteer role Club Volunteer and Chair
How long have you volunteered? For as long as I remember with occasional periods of rest!
Why do you volunteer? I grew up within a community that offered clubs and activities for young people Ė I was lucky to access these and Iím forever grateful to those who volunteered to make it possible back then. I feel itís my turn to join in with other fantastic villagers to pass on similar opportunities and experiences to our young people. We are the community we live in.
Challenges of volunteering For me getting to the club on time or answering emails quickly! Sometimes the biggest challenge is encouraging new volunteers to believe they have something to offer and to see that their time and own interest areas are enough Ė people often mistakenly believe you have to be an expert in sporting activities or an experienced youth worker. You donít Ė you just need to be you!
Positives of volunteering Meeting interesting people in the village and the great feeling of reward and satisfaction that together we help stay connected to our young people and offer them somewhere to be together. Itís always an unexpected joy to have an adult approach you some years later and they are keen to tell you what they are up to. I work long hours and didnít go to school locally so volunteering has enabled me to make some great friends amongst fellow helpers. Itís amazing what a couple of hours a month has brought about. Iíve also really benefited from the great training opportunities with Youth Action Wiltshire Ė the club has made good use of their resources over the years.
What makes your club special? The support from young people, adults and organisations in the area Ė it really is humbling how people are keen to support our mission. Investing and engaging with young people highlights that a great next generation is on its way.