This months blog post has been written by our new Chair: Charles Pidsley.
Now that I have been Chair of the Board of Trustees for six months, the management team have decided it should be my time to write the Blog!
I have never written a blog before but I have thought and prayed and, in the end, decided I should share some of the reasons for getting involved with Burton YMCA and what I feel strongly about.
In my work as local General Practitioner and with the East Staffs Clinical Commissioning Group (ESCCG), I had come across the work of the YMCA on several occasions. Paul Laffey, who I had met on one of his visits to our Church at St Mary’s Stretton, was a regular friendly face at a variety of events with ESCCG stakeholders and third sector (jargon for voluntary) organisations. When I retired, I wanted to get involved in some voluntary work, so had intended to contact Paul after a suitable period of rest! However, just as I was thinking it was time to do this, I was tapped on the shoulder by Mike Costello our trustee/treasurer! That was two and a half years ago, it seems like only yesterday.
All the work of the organisation particularly food bank, furniture stores and the Accommodation services are very worthy, but it is the Family mediation and Shine project that particularly inspire me. These two areas of work I feel are very much preventative. They are about supporting people to manage their lives in as productive a way as possible. The responsibility lies with the young person or family still, but they are shown alternative strategies that will help them.
Rather late on in my GP career I realised that it was too easy to do things for people which unintentionally removed independence and confidence. In other words, it can be very easy to convey the view:
“You are not coping. You need me to do something for you and then you will feel better”.
What the Shine project and Family mediation do is try another type of approach:
“Let’s look at this issue together. Had you thought of this? What do you want to achieve? What do you need to reach your goal?”
I think you will agree that the second way feels very much more helpful, particularly in the long term. The added bonus is that it gives people skills to resolve issues that may arise in the future and so avoid the need to seek help.
As we come out of the lock down restrictions, I just want to thank everyone working and volunteering for Burton YMCA, who have worked so hard to overcome the limitations, explore new options and endure personal difficulties in the last 18 months. I am really looking forward to meeting face to face with people again soon.