Volunteers’ Week in June is all about recognising and celebrating volunteers – and of course it’s a great excuse for a party to say thanks for ‘the difference you make’.
For West Sussex YMCA DLG volunteers this involved a morning in the countryside with sunshine, food, drink, chat…and walking donkeys!
Six volunteer chaplains and Positive Placements mentors went to East Clayton Farm, a Care Farm which is part of the charity Lorica Trust, on the edge of the South Downs National Park. The Trust’s aims are to ‘educate, restore, inspire and refresh’ those who come onto the farm and there is a partnership link with YMCA DLG whereby the old Farmhouse is home to a number of supported residents.
Starting with coffee and pastries the volunteers heard about the history and work of the farm and the visionary plans for the future. They were then introduced to the donkeys – Darren, John, Bramble, Bobin, Leo and George.
There was a grooming session before the walk (the mucking out bit had already been done!). After a gentle walk through the woods, accompanied by a guide from the farm, everyone returned for a finger-buffet lunch (having washed their hands first!). YMCA DLG CEO Chas Walker joined the group for lunch (well-timed!) and there was lots of time to chat, share ideas and thank the volunteers for their involvement in the lives of young people, as well as highlight the integral part they play within the 2020 strategy.