14 May 2024

YMCA Exeter’s Volunteer Coordinator, Sue Wilson, shares an array of successes as she looks back on the first year of our new Ambassador programme:

Last Spring we launched our YMCA Exeter Ambassador programme. The scheme was borne out of the Lighthouse Training Programme which YMCA Exeter residents have the chance to work through and complete. 

We wanted to continue to develop opportunities to further our residents’ skills and confidence in helping with external events and hospitality, but also give them the chance to engage with the public through speaking and advocating for us.  

We were delighted to have four residents sign up for the first cohort and they’ve successfully completed a year in this role.

The Ambassador Programme gives each ambassador the chance to join YMCA Exeter’s Resource and Comms team in a wide range of activities, helping to run numerous events. These include:

  • YMCA Exeter stall at Devon County Show
  • The record-breaking Arctic Row launch at Exeter Cathedral 
  • Food prep and welcoming at several CSR events
  • Wellbeing event at Exeter College

And those aren’t the only highlights of the year…

Our YMCA Exeter Carol Service had the ambassadors prepare and read the gospel readings of the birth of Jesus. It was wonderful to see them step up to speaking in front of such a large group of people and for one, not in their native language. 

At our Gala Dinner event, our three ambassadors shared their stories of how they had come to YMCA Exeter and how they had been supported. They each spoke so well, and it was a very powerful message of how YMCA Exeter does indeed literally save lives and save young people from becoming homeless. It was lovely to have them there as honoured guests and also receive an award for all they’ve done for us over the year. They have spoken out bravely about the most difficult times in their lives and it’s been wonderful to see them realising that their voices are important and are heard.

Our ambassadors have also excelled at being available for TV and radio interviews with the local media and we’ve been so grateful for them speaking in front of strangers on camera and radio. 

Please join us in praying for the new cohort who are now stepping up for the next year, and for those that have decided to continue in the role.