Volunteer Week & The Queen’s Award
Last week was a busy and fulfilling week for the Centre, as we spent some time appreciating and thanking our volunteers. We were invited along to Community Action Wirral’s Thank You awards for volunteers on the Wirral. Not only was it great for us for being recognised, it was also insightful and really lovely to see the hard work other volunteers are doing on the Wirral from helping the elderly to cleaning our streets. It really showed us that there is a great variety of volunteering that is needed, not just in mental health, and to see how all of our work is connected in terms of looking after the wellbeing of the Wirral population.
Below is a great sentiment that we took away from the day inspired by Peta Kelly’s book “Earth Is Hiring.”
‘To the person who uses metal straws to save fish but consumes animals, I’d like to say thank you. To the vegan who isn’t aware of our homelessness problem, thank you. To the climate change activists who aren’t attentive to fast fashion, thank you. To the girl who gives her old clothes to the disadvantaged but isn’t educated on sex trafficking, thank you. To the guy who picks up rubbish on his way home from a surf but isn’t well-informed about male suicide rates, thank you. To the people who stand up for horse racing concerns but are uninformed of the cruelty of the dairy industry, thank you. To the positive Instagram influencer who hasn’t cultivated a plastic-free lifestyle, thank you. To the grandparents who knit for sick children but aren’t up to date with current race and homophobic issues, thank you. To the students that stand up for bullying but are unaware of the constant domestic violence epidemic, thank you. To the peace activists, feminists, stray dog adopters, teachers, volunteers, foster carers, recyclers, givers, doers and believers, I say thank you. We are all on a different path and we all see through different eyes. Current world issues that you are passionate about, aren’t always what other people are trying to change… and that’s okay. It’s not everyone’s job to save every part of the world but it is everyone’s responsibility to thank every person who is doing THEIR part to save the world. Don’t critique, just appreciate. Don’t judge, just educate. We’re all trying our best. Thank you.’
But that’s not all that happened recently…
The Open Door Centre been awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Services!
It’s the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
Charity founder, Lee Pennington and Operations Manager, Greg Edwards were invited to Buckingham Palace in May to attend The Queen’s Annual Garden Party in recognition of the award.
Ops Manager Greg shares his experience of attending the event below:
“We got to the Palace on the day around 4 O’clock and went through security before entering the gardens. We got to walk through part of the palace which was rather grand as you would expect. There were 8000 people there so it was a big event and we were fortunate enough to be in the presence of The Queen as well as William and Kate. There was a good spread of expertly cut sandwiches and artisan cakes to accompany the fancy tea. We spoke to a few different people involved in other voluntary sector organisations and there was a large range of guests from different groups including military, emergency services and public servants. The weather was perfect and the experience was quite surreal. It was a long but worthwhile day we were pleased to be a part of. We stayed at the Palace for around 2 hours before heading for a quick bite to eat and a train back from Euston.”
The pair also discussed mental health at length with the Duke of York who showed a real, genuine interest in the work being done and the importance of getting it right as a sector to support those in need.
The OD Centre believes that this award is a testament to all the hard work the volunteers have put in by supporting local, young people with difficulties they face around their emotional health.
A huge congratulation for those of you who work with us in some capacity whether through mentoring, supporting at events, visiting our café in Bloom and generally spreading the word to those in need.
Would you like to volunteer with an award-winning charity?
Do you have skills of communication, empathy and a desire to help people? Do you have at least two hours spare in the working week? Come visit us in Bloom Buildings and register your interest in becoming a mentor. You won’t regret it.