Aisha Adan (YMCA St Paul's Group)

During the peak of COVID, YMCA St Paul’s Group’s early years provision continued to deliver care to the children of key workers to ensure that their parents could remain at work.   

In addition to supporting her own family and despite the risks, Aisha remained dedicated to early years provision throughout the pandemic, providing opportunities for children to experience different activities and allowing them to explore at a challenging time. At first, some of the children were reluctant or wary, but with Aisha’s words of encouragement and praise, they soon started to feel more comfortable.  

Aisha also stepped up and took over the facilities room planning, collating all the individual scheduling and discussing activities for specific children to extend their skills. During Eid celebrations, Aisha purchased sweets and took time to make a gift and card for each child to take home.  

Aisha will always stay behind to answer any parents’ questions, or spend that extra time making sure a child is okay – she goes above and beyond. 

Chiara Docherty (YMCA Brunel Group)

Chiara became a resident of Frome Foyer at 16. She didn’t have an easy childhood and faced the challenges of becoming a single mum at 17. YMCA Foyer staff supported her, providing many different services and opportunities to help Chiara through the difficulties and personal challenges she was facing, which in turn helped her to become focused and determined to achieve in ways she had not previously experienced. 

As a result, Chiara excelled, gaining youth work qualifications, completing active citizens and intergenerational work, visiting Serbia with YMCA and attending YMCA’s National Conference. She also became a member of the Youth Steering Committee, and trained to deliver services and became a volunteer Youth Worker for Coleford Youth Club & Routes (IAG).  

Chiara worked exceptionally hard and now runs four youth clubs, including Mendip Young Carers and is also working directly with young people at risk of county lines and child sexual exploitation.  

Chiara is passionate about young people, and knows from her own experience that there is always a way to achieve that breakthrough with young people. Chiara has always worked above and beyond to support young people. She is one in a million.  

Gergo Daroczi (YMCA Swansea) - WINNER

Gergo (aka Geg) has a BSC Honours Degree in Record Production & Audio Engineering, as well as a Level 3 in Youth Work and manages a professional recording studio which he uses as a tool to engage some of the most disengaged young people in Wales.  

Geg has run the studio for seven years, working with people from all backgrounds and communities and supporting some of the hardest to reach young people to overcome significant barriers.  

During COVID, Geg went above and beyond the call of duty, adapting his delivery to online services by setting up a home recording studio and supporting young people to do the same by sourcing equipment and resources for them to record from home. During this time, he worked tirelessly, supporting more than 100 young people and delivering more than 500 music sessions. 

The life stories and experiences Geg inspires from young people through lyric writing is truly amazing. He works with a wide range of vulnerable young people, some of whom have disclosed that they have been abused, neglected, taken drugs, or committed crimes, and uses studio activities to encourage them to reflect, heal and process traumatic experiences. The transformations achieved through working with Geg are phenomenal.  

He has also delivered outreach music workshops in youth clubs all over Wales because he is so passionate about children and young people, and supporting them to embrace music. He has a real talent for how he mixes music tuition with quality youth work practice.  

2021 Youth Matters Awards Finalists