20 January 2023

Behind the scenes, quietly working away, we have an incredible team of eight volunteer cake bakers. Every week, without fail, a delicious homemade cake and welcome card is dropped off, ready to welcome new young people arriving to live at YMCA Exter. Cathy Knowles shares why she volunteers:

“Around seven years ago I was asked to join the team of volunteer cake bakers,  but I did not realise at the time what a lovely thing it would be. I rather thought, when I agreed, that it would be a bit of a chore! Instead I found it a wonderful connection to a terrific organisation which changes the lives of young people.

I really knew nothing about YMCA Exeter but have now met so many of the great team who run it, encountered their shining faith, and met lots of the residents on the lovely heart-warming occasions when the bakers have been invited to social events and services with an opportunity to learn and to chat.

I now have an understanding about the lives and some of the difficulties the young people are facing and how they overcome those problems with the incredible help of the YMCA Exeter team.

We are fortunate to be able to welcome new residents with our homemade cakes and know that for some of the young people it will be the first time they have ever had such a treat.

The staff are always so grateful when we deliver our small gift on Mondays and I know that if they do not have a new resident then they take our offerings around to the rooms and use it as an opportunity to knock on doors, ask if the residents would like a cake and use the moment as an opening to check on how life is for them.”

A massive thank you to Cathy Knowles, Hilary Elliott, Jenny Baker, Moira Dale, Pat Fairchild, Sam Wellbelove, Sarah Black and Sue Wilson – your cakes are simply amazing.

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering opportunities with YMCA Exeter please email: sue.wilson@ymcaexeter.org.uk