Alex, aged 18 years has been part of our community projects since 2010 and has participated and attended a wide range of sports sessions on offer at Bransbury Park. A familiar face, Alex soon became one of young people that we looked to help the younger participants, help set up the sessions and quickly became a great role model on sessions and on site.
Alex took on many other commitments whilst at school and for a year was not able to attend as much as he would of liked, however when he did come to sessions or pop down to Bransbury Park, he was always polite, responsible and ready to help out at the drop of a hat. After leaving school and joining Portsmouth College where he is studying Public Services, in October 2015 we offered Alex the opportunity to participate in a week long course ‘Extreme Adventure Camp’ at Portsmouth Watersports Centre. Here, Alex accessed a variety of watersports activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, zorbing, sailing, raft building and outdoor climbing. Alex thoroughly excelled at this week and being one of the older participants encouraged and supported the younger ones during the week in overcoming their confidence and personal challenges to achieve together as a team. His confidence grew in this week with us and as a result of this, Alex committed and became a regular volunteer on our Portsmouth Spirit of Rugby project which at the time had recently started up.
What made you get in volunteering with PITC?
I got involved with PITC after a few years off from attending sessions. I saw how it made me feel and I always looked forward to the end of school because I knew that I had a sports session at the end of the day. A massive motivation for me was that as I grew older I decided that if we could keep the sessions going and I could help with that then lots of other children would have the same enjoyment that I felt growing up. I have gained so much more confidence in myself.
Alex has contributed over 75 hours of volunteering with the SOR project and the Community Projects sessions since 2015 and has supported on a range of community events offering sports to young people and their families in the school holidays. Alex has completed a range of sports qualifications and workshops with us over the years including Sports Leaders Level 1.
What is the best experience so far you have had with volunteering?
The best experience I have had so far with PITC is working with children and young people with disabilities. Seeing their faces light up during activities we have organised keeps me motivated as I myself have Type 1 Diabetes. I see them enjoying life and overcoming different challenges and it has to be one of the best experiences I have ever had.
Despite living with Type 1 Diabetes for most of his life, Alex has never let this hold him back from participating in all of our activities we have on offer and pushing himself to achieve more. Alex has never shied away from taking on more responsibility and always offers to do as much as he can with us despite other commitments of part time work and studying full time at college.
If and how has volunteering helped you in other areas such as studying, university, gaining employment?
Volunteering has helped me with my college course because I am studying public services and a large part of this is around team building and leadership skills. When I started volunteering with PITC, I had a lack of leadership so my skills have improved a lot the longer I have been helping to run sessions for. Without this support, I think I would have struggled with that aspect of my course.
Alex recently won a Beach Rugby Tournament with his college team and this is a great recognition of all the skills he has developed on the Spirit of Rugby project over the last 18 months. Alex says ‘winning the Beach Rugby tournament couldn’t have been done without the help of the rugby sessions that ran every Wednesday’.
Alex is a pleasure to work with on our sessions and events and without the hard work and dedication of young people like Alex, our work would not be so effective. The best role models for young people are young people themselves and we look forward to watch Alex grow and develop further with us over the years to come.
What are your future plans?
My future plans are hopefully to become a policeman or a paramedic and I want to be able to give back to the community for what they have given me a chance to do. If I cannot become a paramedic or policeman then I would like to run my own café and feed the community instead.
If you want to get involved in our volunteering programme, please contact Gemma Vale on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02392 728899. No qualifications or skills needed just the right attitude and enthusiastic commitment.