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VW Jordan Harford

Jordan is 18 years old and currently a Year 2 student at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone.  He started his volunteer and leadership journey when he was 14 years old by completing the Level 2 Sports Leader award.

Jordan is a talented football player who has been signed by Bristol City, Newport County and Forrest Green Rovers as well as playing for the Welsh Schools U15.

Throughout this busy period Jordan has remained committed to volunteering, whenever his footballing commitments allowed.  He has over 400 volunteer hours to his credit, an achievement which resulted in him being awarded in 2016 with the Blaenau Gwent 5/60 Volunteer of the Year award as well as being named Young Volunteer of the Year.

Jordan showed amazing strength of character when his dream of becoming a football player was curtailed due to continuous injury issues, and despite the disappointment he has thrown himself into volunteering, gaining as much experience as he can.  His can do attitude and positive mind-set is an example to all, he has also enrolled in the local college on a sports course.

Jordan was selected for Gold Ambassador in September last year when he returned to live in Blaenau Gwent, to date; he has helped organise the BG Inspire Volunteer awards, delivered a disability workshop for new Silver Ambassadors, helped deliver Bronze Ambassador training to over 60 pupils also attended many CPD workshops.

Jordan is a fantastic coach, and is the first Ambassador to go through the new Leadership pathway to go on to paid work. He delivers the multiskills programme around Primary Schools in Blaenau Gwent, as well as having his own Mini Kickers football class at Abertillery Sports Centre. 

Jordan has also mentored a Silver Ambassador for the last 4 months, and through his dedication has supported him through CPD and training, resulting in him also achieving paid employment.

Jordan is an excellent role model, who has come through disappointment and has developed through volunteering and the Leadership programme.  

For more information on volunteering opportunities with our Inspire Sports Development team visit the team’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/bginspire/ or email neil.vincent@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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VW Libbie Dobbs
Sixteen year old Libbie began her leadership journey earlier this year by successfully completing a Level 2 Sports Leaders Award.

When Libbie joined the programme she had low confidence and a lack of self-esteem, she wasn’t really into sport either, but her willingness to learn and develop as a young leader was undoubtable.

As part of the sports leaders programme, participants were required to undertake a voluntary placement, volunteering 20 hours of their own time at local clubs and/or schools.  Libbie was signposted to the initiative Us Girls, a programme aimed at providing sport and fitness opportunities to inactive and hard to reach girls.
 
The initiative was perfect for Libbie, and she took to the role straight away.  She began by volunteering her time at the Us Girls multi-sport lunchtime sessions that were being delivered at her school, and later went on to help establish and shape what would be the first Us Girls community club in the area.

Libbie now attends the community club on a weekly basis, both as a participant and volunteer; taking the register and generally helping with the running and promoting of the club (she even designed a poster for the club!)

In addition to Us Girls, Libbie also volunteered at a Little Life Sports class as part of her Sports Leaders placement, where 4-7 year olds are taught fundamental movement skills through fun and games.  From teenage girls to tots, Libbie was a little taken aback to begin with but she soon found her feet and adapted her leadership skills accordingly.  She quickly gained confidence and was soon able to competently deliver activities within the sessions.

Libbie has recently become a Silver Ambassador, only 1 of 2 in Abertillery, and attended the Silver Ambassador conference at the University of South Wales earlier this month.  As an ambassador, Libbie will be expected to continue promoting and championing sport and increase participation opportunities to help encourage her inactive peers to become hooked on sport.  Libbie is more than ready for the challenge, and looks forward to the future as a young volunteer. She has grown both as an individual and leader in just a short space of time, and no doubt she will continue to grow and succeed in all that she does.

Libbie said of her experience; “I started volunteering with Us Girls last September, when I had to pick a placement for sports leaders. I wasn’t too familiar with any schools so I got directed to Hannah Winmill which led to helping with Us Girls.  I enjoy helping with Us Girls because it brings women and girls together to play sports that they enjoy without any boys being around, and also you get to make new friends.

My experience as a participant is brilliant, I feel welcome at every Us Girls event and the coaches make everything fun so no one is left out.  My experience as a volunteer is also amazing, I get to help out with a lot of girls and help them to begin enjoying sport a lot more.”

For more information on volunteering opportunities with our Inspire Sports Development team visit the team’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/bginspire/ or email neil.vincent@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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VW BiW2 Voluntary Work Experience Gwent Wildlife Trust

Bridges into Work 2 provides opportunities for its participants to take part in voluntary work experience placements.   In recent months, the project has had a number of successful placements at Gwent Wildlife Trust, where volunteers have been able to gain experience of planting, ground clearing and given training to use specialist equipment such as petrol strimmers etc 

The participants enjoyed working outdoors and have gained knowledge of both plant and insect populations in the area.  There were opportunities for the participants to work at a number of locations including Silent Valley, St Illtyd’s Church and Festival Park. 

Feedback from Gwent Wildlife has been excellent, and they have highlighted how well the volunteers have worked together as a team. 

Feedback from the participants has also been really positive, with a strong theme running through comments stating how the opportunity has given them more confidence: 

“I have gained confidence and feel less anxious about returning to work.”

“I feel more confident with being able to interact with people, and more confident in applying for jobs.”

“Enjoyed the work and being part of the team, this has boosted my confidence as I have been out of work for some time.”

For more information on Bridges into Work 2 call 01495 355299 / 01495 355300 or email BiW2@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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VW Lowri Suter

Lowri first started volunteering for the Us Girls programme at the school based sessions at Abertillery Comprehensive.

After quickly gaining confidence, Lowri was soon able to deliver activities within the sessions and helped to establish the Us Girls community club at Abertillery Youth Centre, where she now volunteers on a weekly basis.

Since becoming a volunteer and starting her Us Girls journey, Lowri’s confidence has soared, enabling her to join the gym and compete in her first 5k run at Brecon.

Hannah Winmill from the Us Girls Project said; “Lowri is an asset to the Us Girls programme in Blaenau Gwent, supporting both the school based and community sessions. She’s enthusiastic, reliable and great with the girls! I couldn’t ask for any more from her as a volunteer.”

Lowri said of her experience; “I enjoy volunteering with Us Girls as it’s great to see the girls having fun.  The initiative is a great way of enabling young girls to participate comfortably in physical activity and sport without feeling self-conscious or nervous about being judged by young boys.”

For more information on volunteering opportunities with our Inspire Sports Development team visit the team’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/bginspire/ or email neil.vincent@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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VW BiW2 Katie

Katie joined the Bridges into Work 2 project in August 2016 as she wanted to improve her employment prospects, and after discussions with the team enrolled on a number of courses including; Food Safety Level 2, COSHH, Paediatric First Aid and Improve Your English.

Attending the courses helped Katie to improve her self-confidence and she became interested in volunteering in order to gain work experience.

Katie was interested in housekeeping, so our Bridges into Work 2 Voluntary Work Experience Officer made some enquiries and was able to secure her a voluntary placement on the housekeeping team at the Premier Inn hotel in Ebbw Vale.

Katie began volunteering in March 2017 and thrived on the placement.  Her manager at the hotel was so pleased with her progress that she was offered a permanent position within two weeks.

Katie said of her experience; “The Bridges into Work team has helped me so much I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.”

For more information on Bridges into Work 2 call 01495 355299 / 01495 355300 or email BiW2@aneurinleisure.org.uk

 

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