Photo: Em Foster picking up the award on behalf of the winner Emily Kemp who couldn’t attend as she is volunteering in Tanzania 

One of our residents, Emily, won the award for Young Leader of the Year at the national Youth Matters Awards ceremony 2016.  She is a well deserving winner.

Emily has been a resident of YMCA DownsLink Group’s (YMCA DLG’s) Horsham Y Centre since 2013.  She is also a founding member of our new Young People’s Board (YPB).  With a small group of young people she made a film to convince our Trustees that this was the right time for the Board to be created.  Since then she has since been a positive and enthusiastic member.  Emily is very welcoming to new members, and always listens and contributes well.

Emily has recently taken part in recruiting new staff to the Horsham Y Centre.  She has also helped with strategic posts such as the recruitment of a Lead Chaplain at YMCA DLG. She gives frequent talks at our staff inductions and we hope she will become a young trainer, and begin co-delivering some of our training to staff and volunteers.

Emily also recently won two regional Outset Volunteers awards for her outstanding volunteering in Horsham. Her next challenge is a trip to Tanzania to help build out-buildings and water sanitation units with Raleigh/ICS.

Emily has immense courage and determination that is amazing. She regularly experiences issues with complex trauma but is so committed and reliable that she deserves recognition. Everyone at YMCA DLG believes she really deserves this Young Leader award as she is a true inspiration to staff and young people alike.