It’s National #VolunteersWeek and we’re shining a spotlight on some of our amazing staff who spend time volunteering year-round within the local community.
First up, it’s our Wellbeing Officer Tyler Slade who started volunteering this year with Worthing’s West Tarring Young People’s Hub.
What was the club like when you first got involved?
It needed rejuvenating: the building was a bit out of the 70s – homely, but looking tired. It was also under utilised in the evenings and on weekends.
What was the first thing you did?
Along with Jennifer Gelling, a council colleague also volunteering at the club, we applied for it to become a charitable trust. Having never done anything like this before, it was a real challenge, but very interesting.
Did you get any support?
We had support early on from Community Works, the charity which connects charities, volunteers and businesses in Brighton, Hove, Adur and Worthing. Colleagues with the relevant expertise at the council also helped.
And what do you plan to do next?
We are about to put out an online survey asking local people what they would like to see there. The plan is for the Hub to be a safe space for young people and their families to socialize, engage, have fun and develop their capabilities whatever they may be.
It is really exciting.
Have there been any benefits of volunteering for you?
Volunteering has given me more confidence in terms of navigating the whole process of making applications to the government.
Interestingly, working in the Councils’ Wellbeing team, it has also given me insight into the challenges some of the people who use our service have. Form-filling and going through administrative processes is something a lot of our customers actually find difficult.
It sounds like quite a bit of responsibility? Why did you decide to get involved?
I have a young family and, having moved to Worthing, wanted to invest in the town, be involved in its future. I love volunteering; I don’t know why more people don’t do it.