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Interview: being a young volunteers and making a difference

by Luke Wallace, Energize Manager

I caught up with Lewis, a 16-year-old young volunteer with Energize, about his experience helping at youth clubs.

When did you first get into contact with Energize?

When I was in year 9, I did some things that weren’t good. I got into trouble and started struggling at school. Luke from Energize started working with me as a mentor, and this gave me someone to talk to each week.

What’s your story?

My behaviour wasn’t good, I found it hard to keep my temper and had a few incidents leading to me almost getting excluded permanently. Thanks to the help I had from teachers at school along with Energize, I’ve come on miles! Luke’s worked with me every week for about two years, other teachers and staff at school came along side me which made a big difference. I’ve come along to other Energize things too- like the youth club and holiday schemes. At my last TAC meeting, my head of year said she’s really happy with my progress.

What have been some of your favourite Energize memories?

Meeting new people and making new friends have been the best bit. I loved paintballing in the summer, and remember holding out in a broken down church with my brother against Luke, Nick and a load of other young people. The PGL weekend away as a big highlight too. We went away to Caythorpe from a Friday to Sunday and did loads of adventurous activities.

What made you start volunteering?

Energize was making a real difference in my life and I wanted others to feel the same. I want other young people to feel a part of something in Lincoln.

How do you help Energize?

I help at Energize youth clubs. I come early to help set up, and then during the club I help run games and activities. Last week I ran a pool tournament and in the Easter holiday I taught everyone how to play American Football. I find volunteering massively rewarding.

How has volunteering developed you?

Volunteering has helped give me a more balanced mind and make better life decisions that can affect me. It’s also grown my confidence, particularly when I’m in front of other people.

I remember a time when I first started volunteering there was a young lad who was about 10 who completely lost his temper and ran outside shouting and screaming about something. I saw myself in him, and went outside with some pens and paper. I chatted to him and we say drawing together for about half an hour and he calmed down completely.

What would you say to another young person who wanted to get involved in young volunteering, but was feeling a bit unsure where/ how to start?

I’d say volunteering feels amazing so just jump into it. It’s okay to feel shy at first but don’t let that stop you.

Saying Thank You in a Covid World

By B Lloyd

To quote Billy Joel, ‘the times they are a-changing’. 

It’s been a strange old year, full of highs and lows, new experiences and a sense of groundhog days. As restrictions begin to lift and the sun begins to shine, it feels like a good time to pause and take stock: to say thank you to those who’ve been our support, our bubbles, our lifelines during these past few months. 

(Of course, every day is a good day to take time to say thank you!) 

To help get your thanking juices flowing, we’ve come up with some ideas for you!

Is a Food Parcel enough to stop Food Poverty?

By Amy Colley, Lincoln Foodbank Coordinator.

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”

Desmond Tutu

A catch up with a Night Light Café Volunteer

by Pam Jenkinson

Without our committed volunteers, the Night Light Cafes would not be able to function. We have a dedicated team, who want to make a difference to those who may be in crisis and have a desire to provide support and empathy to others.

I visited one of our cafes this week and caught up with one of our faithful volunteers Angela, who has been at the cafes for over six months now. I asked her what inspired her to give up her evenings to run the café and she said she didn’t like to see people struggling and felt this was a great way to help others and promote positive mental health.

How has Energize helped young people through the recent COVID pandemic?

By Lauren Johnson

Over the course of the pandemic, young people across Lincoln have connected in with Energize in various ways through schools work delivery, holiday schemes, sports, evening youth clubs, and trips.

How Can I support my Local Charity?

By Simon Hoare, CEO

There are three simple ways that you can support your local charity:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Donations of goods or money
  3. Spread the word about the work they do

A catch up with David and John

By Cat Middleton

This week I caught up with David and John who are part of our Foodbank Van Team.

David has been volunteering with Lincoln Foodbank for nearly 5 years and John for just over a year. David and John have been real life superheroes over this past year. They have been out collecting donations from supermarkets, schools, businesses and many other locations to take back to our Foodbank warehouse. They have been delivering food parcels to our distribution centres so that people can collect and on top of that, they have also been delivering food parcels directly to those in isolation during the pandemic for the past year. 

What does Rebuilding Lincoln look like?

By Joy Blundell

We stand at the hinge point of history. As we emerge out of Covid-19 Lockdown #3, the history books will record how we as a generation rebuilt from the rubble of the devastation of this disease.

What next for young people in Lincoln?

By Luke Wallace

Young people are not designed to be locked up.

A year ago, I may have said that young people today are more interested in being online than in person. I think of my childhood of involving run outs, tig, hide and seek, kerby, pokemon cards and gameboy color. Today, I thought, young people like TikTok, xbox and snapchat. Talking? Being face to face? Just nope.

Mental Health Stereotypes

By Pam Jenkinson

It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem! Yes 1 in 6! Furthermore, one in four of us have or will develop a mental health crisis in our lifetime. So surely having a mental health condition should not have any stigma around it – yet still many people are reluctant to admit or disclose they are not in a good place and are struggling? So why is this?

Youth and COVID-19

By Lauren Johnson

Have you ever felt scared and hopeful at the same time? So many young people around the country have said they feel the same with regards to COVID-19, the impact it has had and will have on their lives in the future.

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