International Citizen Service volunteer up for YMCA Award

Kerry Simons, from Worcestershire YMCA, volunteered for Guatemala YMCA through our International Citizen Service (ICS) is a finalist for YMCA England’s Youth Matters Award – ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’.

Kerry moved into YMCA in 2014 and during her time has worked up over 300 voluntary hours. After some initial hesitation, Kerry signed up to the International Citizen Service with Y Care International.

She was invited to attend an assessment day in London but with never been to London before she was anxious but pushed herself and did it. She enjoyed the experience and it gave her confidence. Kerry was accepted onto the programme and had to raise money to help fund her trip.

She went above and beyond by running a public car wash and delivering leaflets to the whole of St. Johns area in Worcester. She volunteered weekly at a local church and some money from the lunches were put towards her trip.

She also received some donations from her college where she completed her Prince’s Trust course – the college invited her for a meeting before she left and presented with money to fund her trip. She was also awarded Prince’s Trust Team Member of the Year and Overall FE Student of the Year 2015. Along with this fantastic title and nice trophy; Kerry was given some more money to help fund her trip.

Kerry volunteered for Guatemala YMCA who support young people to play sport in safe spaces and teach them how to reduce conflict without using violence or joining gangs.

Before she left for her placement Kerry said: “It gives them something else to focus on and to aspire to, other than being in a gang. It’s very worthwhile and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Kerry was also nominated for YMCA Worcestershire Awards where she won Volunteer of The Year. She continues to run the YMCA Football team and has taken part in Homeless World Cup.  She has come so far and is now looking forward to her future.

Follow @YCareInt for live updates from tonight’s YMCA Youth Matters Awards.

Thinking of volunteering overseas?

If you’re 18-25, apply today for the International Citizen Service and you could volunteer for a YMCA in Africa, Asia or Latin America in January 2016! You don’t need cash or qualifications, just the appetite to make a difference.

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